At Dr. Simon Pong, we get asked lots of questions about eating different foods and consuming sugar. One of our most frequently asked questions is: Is Chocolate Good For Your Teeth?
The short answer is yes — depending on the type of chocolate you are eating.
The best chocolate to eat for your teeth
The winner is dark chocolate, with less than 6-8 grams of sugar per serving.
- Dark chocolate that contains 70% cocoa, or higher, is recommended.
- Milk chocolate, although it is made from the cocoa bean, is very high in sugar and does not offer the same benefits — and it can lead to tooth decay.
Dark chocolate health benefits
Dark chocolate has many health benefits — and some of these benefits may be helping to keep our smiles healthy!
Tooth decay occurs when bacteria in our mouth turns sugar into acid. It is the acid that breaks down the enamel causing cavities. A compound found in the cocoa bean husk called CBH, has an antibacterial effect in our mouth and helps to fight plaque. This antibacterial substance fights against plaque by offsetting sugar levels, and it helps to harden the enamel in our mouths — this makes our teeth more resistance to tooth decay!
Dark chocolate contains:
- Polyphenols which helps to limit oral bacteria by preventing the convergence of sugar into acid.
- Flavonoids which are a plant-based antioxidant that helps to slow the decay process.
- Tannins which help prevent bacteria from sticking to the teeth.
- Antioxidants up to four times the levels found in green tea. High levels of antioxidants in saliva can help to fight periodontal disease.
Despite all this good news about dark chocolate, we recommend that you only consume it in moderation and limit your daily intake to once per day, or 150 calories.