Remember when your mom told you not to eat too many candy bars and sweets because they can cause tooth decay? Turns out, chocolate can be more beneficial to your teeth than you might expect. Recent studies reveal that chocolate can effectively fight against tooth decay. (As if we need another excuse to eat chocolate!)
Chocolate Offers More Protection than Fluoride
Not only does chocolate protect our teeth, but it can do so very effectively. Studies show that chocolate has compounds that provide strong protection for teeth. One of the compounds in chocolate, CBH, can even be used in mouthwashes and toothpastes. These compounds are shown to protect even more effectively than fluoride, a main ingredient in most household toothpastes.
How does Chocolate Fight Tooth Decay?
Tooth decay happens when bacteria work to turn sugar into acids in our mouths. This is why eating foods with a high sugar content can lead to more cavities. The compounds in chocolate, however, are anti-bacterial and can fight against bacteria in your mouth. The CBH compound in particular also works to strengthen tooth enamel, and protects against cavities.
The Best Types of Chocolate
Does this mean that you can eat as much chocolate as you want without worrying about your teeth? It depends on the types of chocolate that you like. The protective effect of chocolate is most effective when you chew on cacao nibs. Of course, this option is not very appetizing to most people.
A more tasty option is to opt for dark chocolate with little sugar content, ideally no more than 6 to 8 grams per serving. For other types of chocolate with a higher sugar content, the effect will be lessened. However, because of the protective compounds, it is still better for your teeth than other sweets and desserts containing the same amount of sugar.