Chocolate: Good or Bad?

happy woman eating chocolateIt’s too good to be true; it’s high in fat and can cause cardiovascular problems; and it’s loaded in sugar and can easily cause teeth cavities. Chocolate lovers have long worried about such warnings, but closer looks at the cocoa product and its effects on your oral and overall health have put these worries to bed. Experts now know that chocolate contains a variety of antioxidants and other beneficial ingredients, and when consumed in moderation, it can benefit your teeth, gums, heart health, and more.

The Truth About Chocolate and Your Teeth

When it comes to your dental health, chocolate’s almost-decadent sweetness can automatically make it seem like a threat to your teeth. After all, sugar is one of the most common substances that oral bacteria can convert into tooth-damaging acids. However, chocolate also contains calcium and phosphate, which teeth need to maintain their enamel’s strength, as well as the antioxidants that help fight bacterial infections (like tooth decay).

Chocolate for the Heart

Another myth is that chocolate lacks any significant nutritional value, and it’s often written off as empty calories. Besides calcium and phosphate, chocolate also contains ample amounts of copper, iron, magnesium, and zinc; all of which are vital to your body’s physiological processes. Along with its rich supply of antioxidants, the treat’s minerals and nutrients can help improve your body’s defenses against common chronic conditions, such as heart disease.

Relax With a Bar of Chocolate

When you’re stressed, or agitated, or simply tired from a long day, your favorite bar of chocolate can seem especially sweet and satisfying. According to studies, that isn’t just an illusion; consuming chocolate promotes your body’s release of natural, feel-good chemicals, like serotonin, that help you feel more at ease and reduces stress and anxiety.

Still, Enjoy with Caution

Despite the newfound truth about chocolate’s benefits, we still advise consuming chocolate (and all foods) with moderation. Excessive consumption can feed the bacteria that hide in dental plaque, increasing your risks of tooth decay, gum disease, and other dental health issues. Drinking a glass of milk with your chocolate will help boost your teeth’s strength and negate the influence of harmful bacteria.

ABOUT YOUR ANKENY FAMILY DENTIST:

To learn more, schedule an appointment with your Ankeny, IA dentist today. You can reach Dental Impressions by calling (515) 965-0230. Since 2006, Dr. Amanda Foust has proudly treated families in Ankeny, Alleman, Elkhart, Bondurant, and all surrounding communities.