Conversation hearts, truffles and heart-shaped boxes of chocolates—these are the symbols of Valentine’s Day for lovers around the country. But is a sweet for your sweet, sweet for her teeth?
For chocoholics and those with a sweet tooth, the good news is that chocolate is actually not too bad for your teeth. Just try to limit your consumption, and don’t overdo it.
The benefits of chocolate
- Tannin: This is the substance that gives dark chocolate its color and bitterness. It prevents bacteria from sticking to the teeth, thereby protecting the same against cavities.
- Polyphenols and Flavonoids: Polyphenols fight against bad breath and tooth decay, and also prevent gum infections. Flavonoids, a type of polyphenol, exist naturally in cacao, and may slow down the process of tooth decay by inhibiting bacteria.
It is good to remember that the darker the chocolate, the healthier it is. Dark chocolates that have higher cocoa content are better for you than milk or white chocolate.
Too much chocolate is bad for your teeth
Chocolate, if consumed in large amounts, could lead to oral damage like:
- Cavities: The sugar in the chocolate feeds the bacteria in the plaque on your teeth, which produce cavity-causing acid
- Staining: The color of dark chocolate can leave its mark on your teeth!
Dental tips for chocolate lovers:
- Consume chocolate in moderation
- Don’t let the sweet linger in the mouth for long. Rinse your mouth with water afterward
- Eat crunchy fruits and vegetables, or chew sugarless gum after having chocolate. This helps get your teeth clean.
- Brush your teeth twice a day, for two full minutes.
- Floss every day
Above all, visit your dentist for regular checkups. Besides helping in the early detection and prevention of cavities, your dentist also provides assistance in maintaining proper oral health.