Meadowbrook Family Dental gets asked all the time, is chocolate bad for my teeth? Does it really cause cavities? The answer to these questions are yes and yes! I know, sounds weird! Here is the thing, the right kind of chocolate can prevent tooth decay. It is more about cocoa beans than the chocolate. The beans used in chocolate contain what is called an antioxidant. These antioxidants are what is good for your teeth and mouth. Antioxidants protect the body from damage. But, each chocolate is not created equally.
There are a few types of chocolate out there such as dark chocolate (the least processed and highest in antioxidants – 70-85% cocoa), milk chocolate (around 20-40% cocoa), and white chocolate (0% because it is processed and contains no cocoa). And when looking for a chocolate that is best for your teeth, you need to grab a chocolate bar that contains at least 70% cocoa.
Studies have shown that there are many benefits to eating chocolate. Dark chocolate that is. A 100-gram bar of dark chocolate contains:
- 11 grams of fiber
- 67% Iron
- 58% Magnesium
- 89% Copper
- 98% Manganese
- And includes a lot of potassium, phosphorus, zinc, and selenium
Chocolate is something that dissolves quickly in your mouth so it does far less damage than say a candy that is hard to chew or sticks to your teeth. You don’t want to have sugar sitting on your teeth all day. Dark chocolate also contains fluoride and has less sugar than an apple. Because of this, it can help prevent tooth decay. Now, we are not saying you shouldn’t eat an apple, but if you are looking for a sweet, chocolatey snack, grab some dark chocolate. And, the cocoa butter will actually coat your teeth and will prevent plaque from sticking. Also, cocoa has substances that help combat bacteria that grow in your mouth which can also help fight bad breath!
There are other benefits as well. Because dark chocolate has a ton of antioxidants, it can help increase your blood flow, decrease blood pressure, reduce inflammation, and can decrease your chance of heart disease. But remember, chocolate and dark chocolate are good for small indulgences but should not replace fruits and veggies. You can’t just keep eating chocolate and think everything is going to be alright because you won’t get cavities. Every chocolate contains sugar. And, sugar can cause cavities.
If you are worried that you might have cavities, we can help! Call us at 916-307-6035 or schedule your appointment today!