During festivals and other happy occasions most of us end up consuming more chocolate than we would on a normal basis and asking ourselves, \”is chocolate bad for your teeth?\”
If you are wondering whether chocolate is bad for your teeth, or if consuming too much of it may exacerbate any existing dental conditions that you may have, such as weakened enamel or cavities, then you’ve come to the right place.
While there are some negatives associated with inordinate amounts of chocolate consumption, you would be surprised at just how many positives there are when it comes to occasionally eating a moderate amount of chocolate.
Is Milk Chocolate bad for your teeth?
Milk chocolate is probably one of the most popular and widely consumed types of chocolate. Unfortunately, it is not so great for your teeth. Why may you be asking? The answer is simple. Milk chocolate contains more sugar than its dark chocolate counterparts and much more than raw and unprocessed chocolate. Milk chocolate is a chocolate made from a combination of cocoa, powdered milk, and sugar.
The breakdown is usually 20-30% real cocoa, with the balance consisting of sugar and powdered milk. The higher sugar content that is contained in milk chocolate can cause cavities and tooth decay more so than dark, raw, or organic chocolate.
Is Dark Chocolate bad for your teeth?
Dark chocolate is by far the better choice when it comes to keeping your teeth healthy and cavity free. There are some studies that even suggest that dark chocolate can be a cavity fighter. Dark chocolate contains polyphenols. These chemicals can help fight the overgrowth of bacteria and other organisms in the mouth. They can neutralize organisms that cause bad breath and they can prevent some sugars form turning into acid, which can break down the enamel of your teeth and cause tooth decay and cavities.
Dark chocolate, otherwise known as “real chocolate”, is made up of around 70% cocoa and only 30% powdered milk and sugar. This drastically reduces the detrimental effect that it could have on tooth enamel when compared to milk chocolate.
How tooth decay occurs & how can you prevent it?
Tooth decay occurs when bacteria in the mouth turn sugar into acids. These acids eat away at the surface of your teeth, causing decay and cavities. Tooth decay occurs over time. However, it can be mostly prevented by cutting down on your sugar intake, watching what types of foods you eat, both sweet and savory, and ensuring that you are brushing and flossing your teeth on a daily basis. It also helps to visit your dentist two times per year to identify oral problems early and remove plaque and tartar buildup.
For this year’s holidays, go ahead and indulge. But just remember that, as with most things, moderation is the key.
Healthy smiles, start early…