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Why is chocolate such a favorite during holidays? Valentine’s Day is a chocolate lover’s dream, and Easter has its own share of chocolate with those delicious chocolate eggs and other goodies. Other seasonal celebrations around the end and beginning of the year are not exempt from chocolate domination. With a taste so good and the endorphins to boot, many people can’t see past the joy of consumption to the pitfalls of overindulgence. We agree that chocolate has positive heath benefits, but the truth is that in some cases chocolate can cause problems to your dental health. Here’s what you need to know before you take that scrumptious bite:
Recent studies suggest that eating chocolate over time can significantly improve brain cognition. The research shows that regular consumption of chocolate is linked with enhanced memory, reasoning skills, and cardiovascular benefits. But like most things, moderation is key. As explained below, overindulgence can have negative effects on your dental health.
The most popular and widely eaten type of chocolate is milk chocolate. It may be delicious in cookies, on cakes, and in wrapped treats, but it has large amounts of sugar – much more than dark chocolate. With such a high sugar content, milk chocolate makes you more susceptible to forming cavities.
Dark chocolate is widely considered a better choice than milk chocolate if you are planning to indulge. Some studies have even suggested that it may fight cavities. Dark chocolate has polyphenols — which work against bacteria in the mouth — and flavonoids — which are antioxidants that can be beneficial by slowing tooth decay, not to mention overall health. And if you think you are safe with white chocolate, you’re wrong. White chocolate has the most sugar of all — 17 grams per ounce.
It would seem that dark chocolate is the healthiest way to go when giving in to your sweet tooth. It has less sugar and can dramatically lessen the negative effects on tooth enamel as compared to milk chocolate. Nevertheless, too much sugar is detrimental to your teeth, so even with dark chocolate, moderation is key.
While it is nice to receive chocolate treats during the holidays, it is crucial to be cognizant of oral hygiene, as tooth decay primarily happens over time with increased sugar intake. Be smart about your food choices and make sure to floss and brush regularly.
Experts recommend that you visit a dentist, such as Studio City Dental Center, twice a year. By making an appointment for a checkup or cleaning on a bi-annual basis, you can prevent problems early. If you have any dental questions or concerns, make an appointment at Studio City Dental Center to keep your smile healthy and bright.