Yep! You heard us. Chocolate is actually good for your teeth and gums. Isn’t that just music to your ears?
Dark chocolate is high in disease-fighting catechins, which help to prevent gum disease and tooth decay. Cocoa beans contain tannins, polyphenols, and flavonoids, all of which are powerful antioxidants that benefit your teeth and gums:
- Tannins, which are what give dark chocolate its slightly bitter taste, help prevent cavities by inhibiting bacteria from sticking to your teeth.
- Polyphenols inhibit harmful oral microbes, meaning they work to neutralize the microorganisms that cause bad breath, also helping to prevent gum infection and tooth decay.
- Flavonoids, as we explain in our article, “Why we love Citrus-Bioflavonoids”, are potent antioxidants that help to fight off infection and slow down tooth decay.
In one Japanese study, it was reported that chocolate is effective at fighting cavities, plaque, and tooth decay by significantly reducing biofilm formation and acid production caused by Streptococcus mutans.
There is also a lot of research to show how cacao extract is more effective than fluoride in fighting cavities. To many, this is pretty shocking news as most of the nation has been told of fluoride’s strengthening effects on teeth and gums. But for us, well, you know our stance on it – fluoride is extremely toxic and poses many risks if ingested. Chocolate, on the other hand, does not.
CBH, the main compound found in cacao, helps harden tooth enamel, making you less susceptible to tooth decay. CBH can both remineralize tooth enamel and deter the bacteria that cause decay.
This delicious treat is one of the most complex foods we know and contains over 300 natural chemicals, including one called phenylethylamine – a neurochemical that makes you happy. This also makes dark chocolate an excellent mood elevator.
Choosing the right chocolate.
To reap the benefits of all that chocolate has to offer, make sure you choose dark chocolate with less than 6-8 grams of sugar per serving with at least 70% cacao content.
The recommended healthy amount of dark chocolate is 1-2 ounces or 30-60g per day.
Try and choose raw and organic chocolate if possible, as it is less processed, and means more of the antioxidants are left intact.
THROW out your toothpaste!
Consider tossing your toothpaste! Many kinds of toothpaste on the market today are packed full of very harmful ingredients, that, over time, can have an extremely detrimental effect on your body. Check out our article, “Toxic ingredients in your toothpaste,” for more information about this.
Now, we don’t know about you, but we are going straight to the grocery store to fetch ourselves a bar of delicious dark chocolate.
Remember, what’s good for your gums is good for you!