Is Chocolate Good for Your Teeth?

February 29, 2020

Brunette woman smiles as she eats a piece of dark chocolate in Katy, TX

It’s always a good rule of thumb to limit your candy consumption to protect your teeth. But when you do eat candy, there are certain types of candy that are better than others. Let’s take a look at how chocolate can affect your oral health!

Is Candy Bad for Teeth?

Generally, candy is high in both sugar and calories, and low in beneficial nutrients. The bacteria that live in your mouth thrive off your dietary sugars. So when you eat candy, they have a feast.

As bacteria eat, they produce harmful acids that erode and demineralize your tooth enamel. You can strengthen and remineralize your teeth with daily brushing with fluoridated toothpaste, drinking fluoridated water, and consuming tooth-healthy foods with calcium, phosphorus, and vitamin D. However, if demineralization outpaces remineralization, you will develop tooth decay and cavities, which are holes in the hard outer layer of teeth, called the enamel.

Therefore, consuming sugary candy will increase your risk of decay.

Is Chocolate Good or Bad for Teeth?

When it comes to chocolate, it depends on the cacoa content! The best type of chocolate is dark chocolate with a cacao percentage of at least 70%. This means the chocolate contains beneficial antioxidants and flavanols naturally present in cacao beans. Flavanols are plant compounds that provide anti-inflammatory and immune benefits. Research is growing that eating modest amounts of dark chocolate may also improve blood pressure and heart health.

In contrast, white chocolate and milk chocolate do not provide the same health benefits as dark chocolate. And these chocolate varieties contain more sugar, thereby increasing your risk of decay more so than dark chocolate. However, they are still the lesser of two evils when compared to many other types of candy that are sticky and slow-dissolving, such as chewy caramel, taffy, lollipops, jawbreakers, sugary gum, gummy bears, gummy worms, and sour candy.

What to Do If You Have a Cavity

If you feel extreme pain or sensitivity around a tooth, it might mean that you have a untreated cavity! Don’t ignore your tooth pain. Our team at Heritage Dental can provide you with quick and professional emergency care to get your oral health back on track.

Gentle Dental Care in Katy, TX

Twice-yearly preventive cleanings and checkups with our family dentist in Katy, TX, can help protect you from oral health issues, like cavities, gum disease, and bad breath. For those of you who are nervous to be at the dentist, know that we offer several dental sedation options, which can keep you calm and relaxed throughout your visit with us. We hope to see you soon. Contact us today to schedule your next appointment!