Valentine’s Day Chocolates & Your Teeth

Every year, Americans spend close to $1.5 million on Valentine’s Day chocolate. In fact, the chocolate box tradition has been around for more than 140 years. Richard Cadbury introduced the first Valentine’s Day box of chocolates in 1868.

Although we know that chocolate contains loads of sugar, recent studies have proved that it’s ok to indulge a little. In fact, it might even benefit your oral health!

Think we’re crazy? Read on.

If you’re planning on chocolate this Valentine’s Day, think dark. Yes, it’s bitterer than milk chocolate, but that’s because it contains more of the actual cocoa bean, which is a good thing. And here’s how:

The cocoa bean has tannins, polyphenols and flavonoids, which are all antioxidants that benefit your mouth and teeth. They do this by preventing bacteria from sticking to your teeth, neutralizing the organisms that cause bad breath, preventing gum infections, and battling tooth decay. These antioxidants can also reduce inflammation in the body.

Amazing, right?

Remember, this does not happen with any chocolate since the added sugars in some will offset the good effects. Only dark chocolate does all this good because it is the least processed and has the highest cocoa bean content. So the higher the percentage, the better it is for your teeth.

So, you don’t need to worry too much about Valentine’s Day chocolates when it comes to your teeth- dark chocolates, that is. But you still have to consume in moderation. Constantly eating chocolate will definitely harm your teeth over time.

Now, while we’ve given you a little leeway on the chocolate, make sure you’re not overdoing it or harming your teeth with other Valentine’s Day treats that aren’t so helpful. Here is a list of candies to avoid this year:

Sugary snacks: Candy corn, cookies, and cake all contain a high amount of sugar, which can cause tooth decay.
Chewy/sticky sweets: Gummy candies, taffy, and even dried fruit can be a serious source of tooth decay, particularly when they get stuck in the crevices between teeth and make it nearly impossible for saliva to wash away.
Sour candies: High acid levels in these treats can break down tooth enamel quickly.

So enjoy Valentine’s Day, but take sweets in moderation, and when you’re ready for your cleaning, give Dr. Cash a call at 512-451-7577.

(KnowYourTeeth.Com & FocusedCareDental)