It might seem strange for your dentist to tell you to eat more chocolate, but dark chocolate especially isn’t as bad for your teeth compared with other sweets. If you intend to indulge this Halloween, dark chocolate is your best option.
Why Choose Dark Chocolate?
Dark chocolate contains four times the amount of antioxidants found in green tea and can help fight cavities. This is because dark chocolate contains more of the cocoa bean and which in turn contains tannins, flavonoids and polyphenols that can benefit oral health. Polyphenols are natural chemicals that help limit the growth of bacteria. They can prevent some bacteria from converting sugar into acid and causing tooth decay and can reduce the risk of gum infection and bad breath.
Tannins have anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties which can prevent gum infections and swellings, which are a common symptom of gum disease. It’s tannins that give dark chocolate its characteristic colour and slightly bitter taste.
The flavonoids in dark chocolate can slow tooth decay, as can tannins because their molecules bind to bacteria before plaque has a chance to form. This helps to prevent bacteria from sticking to teeth.
When choosing your dark chocolate, look for a bar with at least 70% cocoa and don’t forget to brush afterwards as dark chocolate still contain some sugar, albeit less than milk or white chocolate.