Chocolate? Teeth’s Friend or Foe?

Ah, chocolate. A sweet tasty friend anytime. Alas, an enemy of good oral health all the time.

Or is it? Has this delicious but villainous sweet that serves as the root cause of so many cavities been mislabeled? Recent studies emerging from all over the globe including Japan, England and the United States from impartial nutritionists support the fact that chocolate is effective at fighting cavities, plaque and tooth decay in the mouth.

Say what?

Nutritionists the globe over report dark chocolate doesn’t deserve its bad cavity-riddled rap. For dark chocolate contains compounds that may be more effective at fighting tooth decay than fluoride. Chocolate’s superhero compound, CBH, is used in esteemed cavity fighters like mouthwash and toothpaste.

We all know the undisputed facts about tooth decay: It occurs when bacteria in the mouth turns sugar into acids, which eat away at the tooth’s surface and cause cavities. However, a lesser known fact about cocoa is compounds in cocoa bean husk have an anti-bacterial effect and also fight against plaque. CBH, a white crystalline powder whose makeup is similar to caffeine, helps harden tooth enamel. This makes users less susceptible to tooth decay.

Holy sweet tooth, Batman! This fact makes chocolate less harmful than many other sweet foods because the antibacterial agents in cocoa beans counter its high sugar levels.

The chocolatey conclusion: Cocoa extract is a better cavity fighter than fluoride.

Of course, dentists advise, all good things must be enjoyed in moderation. Eating 3-4 ounces – not bars (sorry, Snickers lovers) – of chocolate a day is a delightful way to take full advantage of CBH’s plaque-fighting powers and lower your chances of getting cavities. Nutritionists recommend dark chocolate with less than 6-8 grams of sugar per serving. Raw chocolate, which is less processed and has more antioxidants left intact, is the best choice.

The sweet truth about chocolate isn’t just good news for kids with sweet teeth. A study by the journey Neurology found that chocolate may help older people keep their brains healthy and their thinking sharp. Study participants who drank two cups of cocoa daily for 30 days showed an 8.3 percent increase in blood to the brain and improved their scores on memory and thinking tests.

Who’d of thought that chocolate lives a double life as both an ace cavity fighter and a quality of life enhancer?

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