The Risks and Benefits of Chocolate

Chocolate is one of the most popular sweets during the holidays, special occasions. Even life isn’t going so well, chocolate can be a comforting snack to ease the pain of heartbreak or a stressful week. Aside from a guilty pleasure, chocolate can have some health benefits for your teeth and your body. Let’s take a closer look.

A report published on Medical News Today indicated that “around 4.5 kg of chocolate each year” is consumed by the average American (medicalnewstoday.com, 2015). If you put that into perspective as to how much is being consumed annually, that’s nearly 10 pounds of chocolate a year. This is exactly why knowing what chocolate is doing to your teeth and your body is such a good idea.

Chocolate Benefits

The cocoa bean is the main ingredient in chocolate, and it contains antioxidants such as flavanols. Flavanols are a plant-based nutrient that help combat inflammation, neutralize free radicals in the body, and, according to the Food and Drug Administration, may even promote healthy blood flow. Some studies suggest that chocolate may help improve brain cognition, lower cholesterol, lower blood pressure, and decrease the risk of heart disease. There is still a significant amount of research to be done before this can be confirmed. One benefit is certain, when people eat dark chocolate, they begin to feel better because of the high amount of cocoa in dark chocolate.

Chocolate Risks

It is clear that chocolate is quick source for sugar. However, some chocolates also contain higher amounts of calories and saturated fats, which can all put your health at risk. There are higher risks with milk chocolate than there is with dark chocolate. The reason for this is because there is less real cocoa and more powdered milk and sugar in milk chocolate, which contributes to tooth decay, high cholesterol, and other related health conditions. The worst kind of chocolate is white chocolate because it doesn’t contain any cocoa, and it is predominately made of sugar, powdered milk, and saturated fat.

Solutions

We all know how good sweets and chocolate taste, but eating too much can cause some serious issues with your health. If you allow the sugar to resonate on your teeth for long periods of time, the sugar will begin decaying your teeth. The reason why chocolate causes cavities is because of the amount of chocolate consumed and the neglect of oral hygiene. Fortunately, there are ways to combat tooth decay from eating chocolate. One way to avoid any issues is to rinse your mouth with water after eating sugary products. Also, brushing at least twice a day and flossing daily can also help reduce the amount of sugar hiding on your teeth. More than that, consider rinsing with fluoride-containing oral rinse, visit Mission Peak Dental Care in Fremont/Tracy regularly for comprehensive dental examinations and professional cleanings. Call (510) 790-0590 / (209) 830-7032 to schedule an appointment today.