June is National Candy Month, and with that in mind, we wanted to share with parents that there is actually one candy that studies have found benefits teeth. When you or your child decide to indulge, it’s good to know that dark chocolate has properties that are actually beneficial to your teeth and overall health. Dr. Jim Erpenbach offers traditional and biomimetic dental services in the Knoxville, Tennessee area.
Studies in the US, Japan and the UK indicate that extracted compounds found in the cocoa bean, the main ingredient in chocolate, are actually as effective, or more effective, than fluoride at fighting tooth decay. This compound, called CBH, is used in some toothpastes and mouthwashes. CBH is antibacterial and aids in the prevention of plaque buildup.
In powder form, CBH has a similar chemical makeup to caffeine, and its crystalline particles help harden tooth enamel in animals, making their teeth more resistant to decay. Research is currently underway to determine if this same benefit holds true for human teeth.
Organic dark chocolate is also low in sugar, with less than 6-8 grams per serving, which means less sugar is present to start the chemical processes that drive tooth decay, and for your kids, less of the undesirable effects sugar brings related to energy level and concentration.
Of course the best thing for your teeth is no candy, and maintaining your routine brushing and flossing twice daily along with twice yearly professional cleaning. But if you must indulge, choose dark chocolate. To schedule a routine professional cleaning for yourself or your child, call our office at 865-584-8630.