Happy Valentine’s Day!
Today is notorious for indulgence, especially in everyone’s favorite sweet treat: Chocolate. Great news: you don’t have to feel so guilty about it on the dental front if you pick chocolate that is high in cocoa and low in sugar. Dark chocolate that is less processed and more naturally sweetened is better for your overall health and well-being, including your teeth.
There are three hard-working antioxidants in cocoa beans that work to keep your body clean and healthy within your cells. The antioxidants called tannins, polyphenols, and flavonoids all make dark chocolate a healthy treat when eaten in moderation. Dark chocolate can even contain up to four times the levels of antioxidants found in green tea which is historically known for its cleansing properties.
What do the antioxidants do? Dr. Krystyna Wilczynski, a member of the British Dental Association and The Royal College of Surgeons’ Faculty of Dental Surgery found that “Polyphenols can prevent bad breath, limit gum infections and even prevent some bacteria from converting sugar into the acid which rots teeth. Tannins are the plant compounds that give the dark chocolate the bitter taste and dark colour, but are responsible for helping prevent bacteria sticking to teeth – and therefore limit tooth decay. This happens as their molecules bind to bacteria before plaque has time to form. Alongside this benefit, unfortunately tannins can stain teeth – so you must be careful and ensure good oral hygiene regime […] Flavonoids in dark chocolate known as epicatechin have been known to slow tooth decay.”
With all of that science laid down, what really matters to the everyday chocolate eater is TASTE. At Fortson Dentistry, we tried out 3 different dark chocolates in order to recommend which is the all-around best buy for you. We judged each chocolate on cocoa content, sugar content, and taste. Check out our video attached to see how these chocolates ranked.