Chocolate is a staple of celebrations from Christmas to Easter. While the sweet stuff can be hard to resist, moderation is the key to protecting your teeth. So is chocolate bad for your teeth, really? Here’s what you need to know.
Is chocolate really that bad for you?
The average person in the UK spends over £300 per year on chocolate and 20% of that is spent at Christmas. While it’s a popular indulgence, is chocolate actually that bad for you? Well do a little digging online and you’ll see that cocoa, the main ingredient in chocolate contains compounds that help lower cholesterol, reduce the risk of heart disease, and boost the immune system.
Cocoa also contains flavanols, a type of anti-oxidant that supports brain health and improves your mood. There are more of these antioxidants in dark chocolate, just incase you were wondering. So far, so good. However, it turns out that chocolate is not so great for your teeth.
Is chocolate bad for your teeth?
Thinking of milk chocolate in particular, it contains a lot of sugar. Bacteria in your mouth love to feed on sugar and when they do, it releases acid into your mouth. This acid erodes your protective tooth enamel, causing decay. Chocolate can also stain your teeth, so eat it in moderation if your want to keep your pearly whites white!
Enjoy chocolate the smart way
If you can’t imagine a world without chocolate in it, don’t worry. You can still enjoy it in moderation. If you choose dark chocolate with at least 70% cocoa and less sugar, all the better. There is evidence that there are compounds in the cocoa bean that have an antibacterial effect which may help protect your mouth.
After eating chocolate, another good tip is to drink water to flush the sugar out of your mouth. And of course, don’t forget to follow a good oral health routine and attend your regular dental check-ups!
For more interesting articles on oral health and the products you need for a bright and healthy smile, check out the rest of our blog.