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Is chocolate bad for your teeth? This is a common question that people ask dentists every single time that they visit their offices because there seems to exist a conundrum on whether chocolate is healthy or unhealthy. Be it dark chocolate, milk chocolate, white chocolate or any other form of chocolate, there is an air of uncertainty hanging over the effects of eating chocolate especially on teeth. Today, we want to take a look at the ingredients of the individual types of chocolate and examine their effects on teeth. At the end of it all, will have come up with a comprehensive answer on the effects of chocolate on teeth. So what are the most common types of chocolate available and how good or bad are they?
Types of chocolate
There are very many types of chocolate available in stores but the most common are the dark chocolate, white chocolate, bittersweet chocolate and milk chocolate. There are many other types but they are not as common in America and we will not focus on them as much. Here is a deeper look at each individual chocolate and its effect on your teeth;
White chocolate is made by combining cocoa butter with sugar, milk solids and adding flavors such as vanilla. It is white in color hence the name. It is one of the most common forms of chocolate consumed in America and it is only fair therefore to look at its effects on the dental health. Since the chocolate contains more milk solids than cocoa butter, it is rich in proteins and has a relatively high sugar levels. Whereas the chocolate is good for the general body health, the high sugar levels are suspect when it comes to causing dental cavities and other dental problems.
Dark chocolate is the other common type of chocolate in America which is by far better than white chocolate from a dental health perspective. Just like white chocolate, it is made by mixing cocoa, powdered milk and sugar. The only difference however is the composition of the ingredients. Whereas milk solids take up the larger share in white chocolate, it is the complete opposite in dark chocolate because cocoa makes up about 70% of the chocolate while the sugar and milk take up the remaining 30%. This explains why the chocolate is dark in color. Since the chocolate contains minimal sugar levels, it is relatively healthier than white chocolate. Actually dark chocolate is good for your oral and dental health. This is because it contains polyphenols which can help fight overgrowth of bacteria and other disease causing organisms in the mouth. The polyphenols help kill and neutralize these organisms which would otherwise cause problems such as bad breath and development of dental cavities. There is also another ingredient in dark chocolate called flavonoids which slow down the tooth decay process as they limit the bacteria activity in the mouth.
Milk chocolate contains very high sugar content about 70% and the cocoa accounts for a mere 30%. This renders this particular type of chocolate very unhealthy. Although it is very rich in proteins due to the presence of milk, the high sugar levels in the chocolate make it a big enemy of the dental system. When you eat this type of chocolate the remnants remain on the surface of the tooth and because of the high sugar level, the remnants react with the saliva and start seeping down into the surface of the enamel wearing it down. Over time, large cavities will develop and if left untreated, even more serious complications will arise.
The real issue therefore when it comes to determining the suitability of chocolate for boosting dental health, is the sugar content. The higher the sugar content, the more dangerous the chocolate is for your teeth. As per the USDA, white chocolate has about 17grams per ounce while milk chocolate has 15 grams per ounce and dark chocolate has about 14 grams per ounce. The higher the sugar content, the more dangerous the chocolate is.
So chocolate is not that bad after all? If anything dentists encourage period consumption of chocolate as it has a coating effect that works like a barrier to prevent the development of tartar and plaque on our teeth. It should however be taken with care because there is the aspect of sugar level as well.
If you want more information on chocolate and its effect on your dental health and that of your loved ones, then feel free to visit us here at Vita Dental. Our dentists will gladly explain the same to you and offer insights on the safe amounts of chocolate that you and your family can consume. Besides the advice, we offer high quality dental services and will gladly offer any treatment that you are looking for at an affordable rate. Contact us today and receive the best possible dental services in Houston.