Did you know that dark chocolate is actually good for your oral health? You might be used to hearing all about how candy and other sweets are horrible and will lead to a mouth full of cavities, but dark chocolate is different. It actually does benefit not just your oral health, but your overall physical health. How?
It Contains Antioxidants
Dark chocolate contains a large amount of antioxidants. These antioxidants can help lower your risk of developing heart disease and a number of other issues. It increases the amount of blood that your brain receives, which can help with your thinking. It can help you lose weight if you eat a few ounces a day. There's some research that suggests it can even help lower your risk of cancer, although additional studies are required to fully confirm this.
Your Oral Health and Dark Chocolate
When it comes to your oral health, dark chocolate can actually help battle plaque and reduce your risk of cavities. That's because it contains polyphenols. These natural chemicals help control oral bacteria, neutralizing the cause of bad breath. They also help prevent bacteria from converting the sugar in the foods you eat into the acid that damages teeth. The antioxidants mentioned above also help battle periodontal disease.
Now, that doesn't mean you can toss our your toothpaste and replace it with a stack of dark chocolate bars. Dark chocolate does have some benefits if it's eaten in small amounts. If you eat an entire bar of dark chocolate every day, the negative effects are going to outweigh the good.
Moderation is key here. Only eat a few ounces or up to eight grams a day. Also remember that it needs to be dark chocolate (70% or more cacao). Milk chocolate, white chocolate, and other options are not as beneficial. In fact, they contain a lot of extra sugar.
Of course, remember that eating a bit of dark chocolate every day does not make your mouth invincible. You'll still need to see us every six months for a checkup. Give us a call to schedule one of these appointments if you don't already have one on the calendar.
The Center for Implant & General Dentistry Clay Keith, D.D.S. | Paul Denson, D.D.S.