Whenever you eat chocolate, do you ever think about how will it affect your teeth?
As much as you might hate thinking about it, eating it is not good for your teeth.
There are some pros to eating it, but the cons far outweigh them.
After all, we need to know how important our dental hygiene is as our oral health can have a domino effect on the different systems within our body.
What does chocolate do to my teeth?
First, as with most things we consume that are dark in color like coffee or brown soda, chocolate can also stain our teeth. Dark chocolate especially has the potential to cause deep stains, and these are only easily removed by professionals during scheduled cleanings.
Chocolate has a probiotic effect on streptococcus and helps it survive within your body. It causes a sore throat initially, but prolonged exposure to an abundance of Streptococcus can also affect our immune system to the point where one would develop a cough similar in bronchitis or even develop the inability to walk.
Chocolate alone is good for our teeth. Dark chocolate specifically has a lot of antioxidants that prevent the growth of certain bacteria which produce acid that deteriorates our teeth.
However, the issue is that chocolate is not being sold as pure chocolate. The chocolate we see today is adulterated to taste better and is manufactured into products such as candy and drinks loaded with refined sugar. This is why we need to take our consumption of it seriously.
The two main ingredients in chocolate are cocoa butter and sugar. Cocoa butter helps chocolate’s antioxidants in protecting our teeth. It has a coating effect that works like a barrier to prevent plaque from sticking to our teeth, thus reducing decay. Sugar, on the other hand, is the ingredient in chocolate that can cause harm to our teeth.
High levels of sugar bring not only a high level of calories but also a very high probability of plaque sticking to our teeth. Sugar also increases acid production, which causes the enamel of our teeth to erode.
Chocolate, in general, has its good and bad effects both on our teeth and on our body as a whole. These effects depend on the kind of chocolate. However; dark chocolate, for example, has more antioxidants, but its stains are harder to brush away from the teeth.
The only way to reconcile these kinds of pros and cons is to carefully monitor our intake. As the saying goes, everything in moderation! Anything in excess will ultimately hurt you.
Dental studies suggest an ounce of dark chocolate three times a week would be perfectly safe for your teeth and actually good for your body.
How can I take care of my teeth while eating chocolates?
Prevention is always better than a cure. While we may not be able to always keep it low when we eat chocolate, we can always prevent the harmful effects by brushing our teeth and using an antibacterial mouthwash. If you are sensitive to the color of your teeth, then you should refrain from eating dark chocolate.
Good oral hygiene, along with being mindful of the amount of chocolate you consume, is all it takes to stay healthy, even if you’re a huge chocolate lover!
Date Published: January 30, 2016
Last Updated: March 8, 2019
Disclaimer: The oral health information published on this web page is solely intended for educational purposes. Hawaii Family Dental strongly recommends to always consult licensed dentists or other qualified health care professionals for any questions concerning your oral health.