Eat Chocolate! Yes, this is your dentist speaking…

You have probably heard by now about the widespread health benefits of anitoxidants and polyphenols found in many plant based foods and drinks. We wrote an article last winter about the dental benefits of drinking green tea for example. Well here is another one for you and you are going to love it! Chocolate is a VERY rich source of polyphenols, a group of antioxidants that are thought to have many health benefits. These include anti-inflammatory and possible anti-cancer effects. In addition to the total body health benefits, research has shown that polyphenols can have anti cavity effects!  In order for a cavity to form, bacteria must attach to your teeth in what is called a biofilm.  Polyphenols disrupt the formation of bacterial biofilms, making it difficult for bacteria to form cavities in your teeth.  What does that mean for you?  Dark chocolate can help fight tooth decay!  How great is that?!?  Now, not all chocolate is created equal. Milk chocolate is generally more processed, contains lower amounts of cocoa, and higher amounts of sugar, so it won’t do your teeth any favors. But, quality dark chocolate (like 80% ) is very high in cocoa and contains less sugar.  In moderation, it will deliver the healthful polyphenol effects. You can also cook some great things with pure cocoa. Try rubbing lamb or steak with unsweetened cocoa powder, salt, pepper, chili powder and cumin.  Sear well and cook to your desired temperature…you’ll love it and so will your teeth!

1. The anti-biofouling effect of polyphenols against Streptococcus mutans.

Sendamangalam VChoi OKKim DSeo Y.

Department of Bioengineering, University of Toledo, Toledo, OH 43606, USA.