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Is Chocolate Good for Your Teeth?

You’ve been told time and time again – stay away from sugar and sweets if you want to have a healthy, beautiful smile. But does this rule always apply? Could there actually be some sweet treats that are healthy for your smile?

There are a few reasons to believe that chocolate may actually be good for your teeth. But before you start consuming dozens of chocolate bars hoping to increase your oral health, let’s take a look at the reasons why chocolate may be good for you.

Antioxidants

Chocolate contains polyphenols, an antioxidant also found in fruits, vegetables, coffee, tea and red wine. Polyphenols can help reduce inflammation, decreasing your chances of developing gingivitis.

Antibacterial Properties

Did you know that chocolate could actually be antibacterial? The husk of the cocoa bean can actually help you fight off bacteria in your mouth, reducing the consequences associated with eating sugary foods. When you can effectively fight off bacteria in your mouth, you’re at less of a risk of developing tooth decay.

Unfortunately, the husk of the cocoa bean isn’t actually used in the making of a standard chocolate bar. It’s thrown away in the process, but we can hope that they’ll soon find a way to include it in the production.

Plaque Protection

The cocoa butter in your chocolate can actually help protect your teeth from plaque. The coating of the cocoa butter on your teeth can actually make it more difficult for plaque to stick to your teeth, which makes it more difficult for bacteria to grow.

While there are a few benefits to eating chocolate, you should still enjoy the treat in moderation. Even with the antioxidants and plaque protection, too much chocolate could have negative impacts on your teeth. If you’re looking for more health benefits, opt for dark chocolate instead of milk chocolate, which typically has more sugar added.

Chocolate is fine once in a while, as long as you’re getting regular cleanings from your dental team. If you’re due for a cleaning, contact Dr. Anderson’s Kansas City dental office to schedule your next appointment.

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