Today is Valentine’s Day, and you might have received a delicious box of chocolates from a loved one. Or maybe you just like to indulge in the occasional treat, regardless of Valentine’s Day. Well, did you know that chocolate can actually be good for your teeth? It’s true; your dentist is recommending chocolate for your teeth!
Chocolate’s magic ingredient: the cocoa bean
The cocoa bean, which is what chocolate is made from, is what holds the benefits. It contains tannins, polyphenols, and flavonoids, which are strong antioxidants that benefit your mouth and teeth. Benefits from these ingredients include helping to prevent cavities by inhibiting bacteria from sticking to your teeth, neutralizing the microorganisms that cause bad breath, preventing infections in your gums, and slowing tooth decay.
Since it’s the cocoa bean that holds the benefits, you’ll want to pick the least-processed chocolate in order to reap the benefits that the cocoa bean can offer. Unfortunately, we’re not recommending the sweet and sugary milk and white chocolates. The least-processed and healthiest option is dark chocolate, and you should pick one made of around 70% cocoa or higher, as its confection is closest to the bean.
In addition to its oral health benefits, chocolate is full of healthy minerals like potassium and iron, and may even help prevent diabetes if eaten in moderation. This is especially important given the strong link between diabetes and oral health.
No longer do you need to feel guilty (well, not too guilty) about treating yourself to some chocolate. Grab your dark, dentist-approved chocolate and eat up. And always remember, moderation is key.