Do you worry about gaining weight, developing acne, or rotting your teeth every time you bite into a delicious bar of chocolate? Myths abound about the long-loved treat, most of which paint the picture that chocolate is too good to be anything but bad for your oral and overall health. The truth, however, is that plenty of research has shown chocolate might prove more beneficial to your teeth, and your health, than at first believed—good news to those who have trouble putting chocolate down.
Chocolate and Your Teeth
The myth that chocolate could rot your teeth and lead to cavities isn’t entirely untrue. The sugar in most chocolate products can be converted by oral bacteria into acids, which leave your teeth weak and vulnerable to tooth decay. If you eat it too much, and don’t brush your teeth often enough, then you may be more likely to develop cavities. Still, sugar is only a small part of what constitutes chocolate. Much of the rest includes a variety of antioxidants that combat harmful oral bacteria, and a special ingredient (theobromine) that helps strengthen the crystalline structure of your tooth enamel.
Other Health Benefits of Chocolate
Antioxidants are molecules that help protect your healthy cells and tissues from damage caused by the harmful physiological effects of living organisms (like oral bacteria). The antioxidants in chocolate can help protect your oral health from bacteria-caused issues, but their more profound benefits include reducing your risks of several chronic systemic diseases, including heart disease, that involve damage to healthy tissue cells.
Don’t Go Overboard
Despite its newfound potential, chocolate isn’t a completely harmless substance. If you indulge too much, too often, then the benefits of chocolate can be overwhelmed by the risks of overconsumption. Show restraint, and be sure to brush and floss your teeth at least twice every day to keep them clean and healthy.
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To learn more, or to schedule an appointment with Dr. Jessica Johnson, contact Valley Ridge Family Dental today at (515) 327-62230. Located in West Des Moines, we proudly serve patients from West Des Moines, Waukee, Urbandale, Clive, and the surrounding communities.