Is Chocolate Bad for your Teeth?
Jun 08 2017

Is Chocolate Bad for your Teeth?

You may have heard your grandmother tell you not to eat too many sweets, including chocolate, as it’s bad for your teeth. While there is some truth to this, especially when it comes to eating or drinking sugary foods and drinks, certain varieties of chocolate are actually not a bad option for your teeth. Sounds surprising? In this article, we’ll talk about the different foods that have positive effects for your teeth, including chocolate.

  1. Chocolate: Not all chocolates are equal when it comes to your teeth. Milk chocolate is laden with sugar and is bad for your teeth. However, dark chocolate, which contains 70 percent Cacao, is a superfood for your teeth. Dark chocolate contains a compound called CBH, which has been proven in animal tests to help harden tooth enamel. This makes your teeth less susceptible to tooth decay, and may actually prevent cavities.
  2. Cheese: This is great for your teeth and helps to generate saliva. Also, the phosphate and calcium content in the cheese helps to neutralize the acids in the mouth. If you are prone to cavities, you can eat a small piece of cheese after every meal. However, do not combine it with a salty cracker, as the latter actually causes cavities.
  3. Oranges: While some citrus fruits increase the acid in the mouth, leading to erosion of the teeth, the Vitamin C in citrus fruits, such as oranges, strengthens blood vessels and connective tissue, and slows down the progression of gum disease, by reducing inflammation. However, do not brush immediately after eating an orange. Drink a glass of water and wait for about a half hour before brushing.
  4. Water: With saliva being made up of 99.5% water, drinking the optimum amount of water a day, prevents dehydration. The latter thickens your saliva and wreaks havoc in your mouth. Optimum levels of water in your saliva are essential for the breakdown of acids in your mouth, thereby preventing bad breath and tooth decay. Also, rinsing with water after drinking coffee or other beverages can prevent staining of your teeth. Water also contains fluoride (in some local areas), which is good for your teeth.
  5. Wild Salmon: If you do not have sufficient Vitamin D in your diet, your body cannot absorb all the calcium you need for strong bones and healthy teeth. Fatty fish, like salmon, is a great source of Vitamin D and helps your teeth and gums get the full benefit from the calcium you eat. You can also take a Vitamin D supplement, if necessary.
  6. Fruits and Vegetables: High-fiber fruits and vegetables scrub your teeth exactly the way a toothbrush would. They also stimulate saliva production because of excessive chewing. Also, the high-water content in crunchy and juicy fruits and vegetables helps to offset their sugar content. So, the old adage of “An Apple a Day…” is actually true.
  7. Xylitol: This is a sweetener found in many sugarless gums. Chewing gum stimulates saliva production, which wards of tooth decay and bad breath. Xylitol also populates your mouth with the right ratio of bad to good bacteria, thereby aiding in digestion and overall oral health.
  8. Green and Black Tea: Polyphenols are compounds found in green and black tea. These compounds interact with the bacteria that cause plaque and either kill or suppress them. Polyphenols in tea also have cavity-fighting properties.
  9. Milk: This is rich in Vitamin D, as well as phosphates and calcium. It helps the bones and teeth to be strong. If you drink milk regularly, it will result in your tooth enamel being repaired and strengthened. If you are allergic to milk, or lactose intolerant, you can drink soya milk for the same benefits.
  10. Nuts: You can eat a wide variety of nuts, which contain a wide range of vitamins and minerals that are necessary for fortifying the teeth and gums. While peanuts are rich in Vitamin D and calcium, almonds are known to contain calcium in high levels. Also, cashew nuts help to get the saliva in the mouth and walnuts are rich in fiber, iron, magnesium, folic acid, vitamins B6 and E, zinc, and potassium. These are great for the health of your teeth. However, you need to chew these nuts carefully, so that you do not chip your tooth enamel accidentally.

So, when you plan your diet, keep in mind that these superfoods are great for your oral health. You can indulge as much as you want when it comes to these foods, without it adversely affecting your teeth and gums.

You can visit us at GraceAdamsDDS for a dental consult and to find our whether your diet is good for your teeth and gums. We would be happy to discuss this and much more with you!

For more information on what foods to eat for healthy teeth, or for a complete dental check-up,
contact Dr. Mark Grace or Dr. Tracy Adams at 206-623-5546 or at info@graceadamsdds.com.

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