Theres a lot of controversy as to whether or not chocolate is good for your teeth and with Easter coming up, many of us will be unwrapping those eggs and digging right in without thinking about our oral hygiene. Studies reveal that eating dark chocolate with less than 6-8 grams of sugar per serving can lower your chances of cavities. Raw chocolate is an even better choice, as it is less processed, and more of the antioxidants are left intact. Here are some reasons why dark chocolate can be less damaging to your teeth:
Chocolate is high in antioxidants
Antioxidants are a group of molecules that keep your body healthy on a cellular level and chocolate contains a lot of them. Dark chocolate can contain up to four times the level of antioxidants found in green tea. High amounts of antioxidants in saliva have been shown to fight periodontal disease.
It contains a high level of tannins
Tannins are plant compounds that are found in many of the foods we eat and they help to give dark chocolate its slightly bitter taste and dark colour. Tannins can help stop bacteria from sticking to the teeth because their molecules bind to bacteria before plaque has time to form.
Chocolate is a good source of polyphenols
Polyphenols are a class of naturally occurring chemicals that can limit oral bacteria. They are also able to neutralise the microorganisms that cause bad breath and prevent bacteria from turning sugar and starches into acid. Polyphenols have been known to help apparent anticancer and anti-inflammatory effects as well as their ability to reduce hypertension and strokes. Flavonoids are a group of plant metabolites thought to provide health benefits through cell signalling pathways and antioxidant effects which have been shown to slow tooth decay. A study taken by researchers at the University of California showed that a particular falvonoid called epicatechin displays a remarkable ability to reduce cholesterol, blood clots and clogged arteries. Its better to buy chocolate that contains at least 70% cocoa so you can see the benefits to your teeth and body. However, just like any food, chocolate should be eaten in moderation, regardless of its health promises. A chocolate bar is no excuse to skip your oral health routine, especially during the Easter holidays. So make sure that you continue to brush, floss and rinse at least twice a day. What better time to book a dental appointment than during the Easter holidays call 029 2056 9769.