It’s no secret that sweets can cause tooth decay. Chocolate lovers out there will be the first to cringe knowing the effect the sweet, creamy treat can have on their teeth. There is, however, a loophole: dark chocolate! Dark chocolate that is 70% or more cocoa and less than 6-8 grams of sugar actually contains some compounds that can benefit your oral health. Don’t believe it? By the end of this article, you’ll be eager to switch to dark chocolate when you’re craving a treat!
Beneficial Compounds in Dark Chocolate
Chocolate is actually a complex food that is made up of over 300 compounds. Research has found that the antioxidants found in dark chocolate are four times what is found in green tea! Keep reading to learn about the antioxidants that can benefit your dental and oral health.
Let’s start with tannins. Tannins are an ingredient in coca that gives dark chocolate its color and bitterness. They can help to prevent two common issues that people with gum disease deal with: infections and swelling.
Next, there are polyphenols. These are chemicals that help fight bacteria and other organisms from overgrowing in your mouth. Polyphenols help some sugars from forming into acids, protecting your tooth enamel and reducing the risk of cavities and tooth decay. They also help to keep the pesky bad breath-causing bacteria at bay!
Finally, there are flavonoids. Flavonoids, also found in berries, kale, and some teas, protect your cells from oxidative damage. These antioxidants have both antibacterial and antifungal properties that can help to prevent tooth decay.
The Bottom Line
Sure, there are benefits to dark chocolate that are similar to the benefits you can find in fruits and vegetables. That doesn’t mean that dark chocolate is the answer to all your problems. What it does mean is that, in moderation, dark chocolate is better for your teeth and mouth than milk chocolate.
The best defence against tooth decay and gum disease is brushing your teeth twice a day and going to your dentist regularly.
Are you due for your 6-month cleaning? Book an appointment today!