Is Dark Chocolate Good For Teeth?

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If you’re anything like us, you’ll take any excuse to get your hands on more dark chocolate. That’s why McFarland Orthodontics took a moment to research if eating dark chocolate is in fact, good for your teeth. The answer we found is surprising, but is not completely black and white:

The Good:

1. Dark chocolate is a good source of polyphenols, which are natural chemicals that can limit bacteria from growing in your mouth. Polyphenols can neutralize the microorganisms that cause bad breath.

2. Dark chocolate contains a flavonoid, or plant-based antioxidant, called “epicatechin.” Antioxidants keep your body healthy on a cellular level, and this particular antioxidant has been shown to slow down tooth decay.
3. Dark chocolate contains tannins, which are plant compounds that give cocoa its bitter taste and dark color. Tannins reduce the acid in your mouth, by stopping bacteria from sticking to the teeth. The molecules in tannins bind to bacteria before plaque has time to form.

The Bad:

1. Tannins are known to stain teeth. Be sure to brush your teeth after enjoying dark chocolate, so you can avoid the possibility of tooth discoloration.
2. Even dark chocolate contains sugar, so eat in moderation, about 1 ounce per day.

The Bottom Line:

If you are going to eat chocolate, dark chocolate is a healthier option than its sugary cousin, milk chocolate. Eating raw chocolate is an even better option, because it’s less processed, leaving more antioxidants intact. Eatign dark chocolate is good for your teeth in many ways, but has a few drawbacks as well. Choose dark chocolate that doesn’t contain a lot of sugar, and eat it in moderation. Once your done enjoying your daily fix of dark chocolate, simply swish water in your mouth to avoid any staining, and always brush at lease twice a day!

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