With Valentine’s Day coming up, and the holiday season just behind us, many people may be wondering about the health effects of chocolate on their teeth. Is that heart-shaped box of chocolates going to give you a cavity, or can you indulge in rich, sweet chocolate care-free?
Is chocolate bad for your teeth? Well, the answer is “it depends!” Different types of chocolate are better (and worse) for your teeth, and tooth decay from chocolate can easily be avoided with just a few precautions.
Chocolate is not, in and of itself, more harmful to your teeth than any other kind of sweet treat, such as soda, hard candy, or other sugary snacks. Consuming a lot of chocolate can result in bacterial growth and tooth decay, but this is true of all other high-sugar foods. However, not all chocolates are created equal.
Milk chocolate is the most popular type of chocolate, but it’s also loaded with the most sugar. Because it’s so sugary, milk chocolate has a larger effect on your oral health than other chocolate types, such as dark chocolate or white chocolate.
In addition, many milk chocolate confections contain fillings that are equally sugar-packed. Fruits like cherries are coated in syrup and drizzled with milk chocolate, sugared nuts may be packed in chocolate shells, and caramel and nougat are also common in Valentine’s Day chocolates.
In contrast, more natural dark chocolate that contains a higher percentage of cocoa and less added sugar is much less harmful to your teeth. In fact, there is some evidence that the polyphenols in dark chocolate could even help fight cavities!
Don’t worry, though. Even if you love indulgent, sweet milk chocolate, you can avoid cavities from chocolate with just a few simple steps.
Want to eat chocolate without compromising your oral health? Follow these tips!
At the office of Dr. Priti Naik, we focus on restorative and preventative dentistry in Tysons Corner and in Vienna. At our family dentist in Vienna, we can help you understand how what you eat affects your oral health, and give you advice on how to prevent cavities and tooth decay.
Whether you need tooth-colored fillings in Vienna, or just a new family dentist in Vienna, we are an ideal choice. Learn more about our approach to general dentistry from our patient testimonials, and contact us to schedule an appointment with Dr. Naik today. Give us a call at (703) 293-5778, or come to our office at 8230 Boone Boulevard, #320 Vienna, Virginia, 22182.
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