Chocolate is Good for Your Teeth
Believe it or not, chocolate is good for your teeth. Of course, it’s dark chocolate that gets the credit, not the milk chocolate loaded with chemicals and sugar. Dark chocolate that is at least 70-90% cocoa is the most beneficial because it is the least processed and closest to cocoa beans.
Cocoa beans in dark chocolate contain three strong antioxidants that benefit your mouth and teeth: flavonoids, polyphenols and tannins. Flavonoids slow tooth decay, polyphenols limit the harmful effects of bacteria that lead to bad breath, gum disease and tooth decay. Tannins are what make dark chocolate bitter.
Dark chocolate contains about 4 times the antioxidants of green tea and can inhibit the production of plaque but also reduce inflammation in the body and work to prevent periodontal disease. Bacteria associated with periodontal disease can enter the bloodstream and cause heart disease and other cardiovascular problems, so periodically consuming dark chocolate is beneficial to your heart health as well as your teeth.
Tooth decay occurs when bacteria in the mouth turn sugar into acids which eat away at the tooth surface and cause cavities. The cocoa beans in dark chocolate can offset the harmful effects of high sugar in sweet foods.
If you can stand the taste, cacao nibs are the best therapeutic choice, but the bitter taste can put you off. Eating only 3-4 ounces of dark chocolate, with less than 6-8 grams of sugar, per day will provide you the benefits without the harmful effects of too much sugar.