For the Love of Chocolate: 3 Teeth-Friendly Ways to Eat Chocolate
Got a sweet tooth for chocolate? Don’t worry, so do we. You might be asking, “but wait, isn’t chocolate bad for teeth?”
As dentists, we think it’s important that you enjoy all the foods you love most. This includes the endorphin-releasing treat that we all love — chocolate. When your teeth are happy and healthy, you can eat your favourite treats without a worry. So how do you do both?
Here are 3 dental tips on how you can chocolate while looking after your teeth too.
Tip #1 Eat your chocolate all at once
This sounds like a chocolate lover’s dream, doesn’t it? But it is true: it’s better for your teeth to eat in one sitting, rather than nibbling throughout the day.
With teeth, it’s not ‘how much’ sugar you have, but rather ‘how frequently’ you have it.
The reason is that every time you eat, the environment inside your mouth becomes acidic. Your body naturally does this as part of the digestion process. Even if it’s just one tiny bite on a chocolate bar, this raises your mouth’s acidity level. Prolonged acid exposure weakens and dissolves your protective tooth enamel.
After each time you eat, it takes about 30 minutes to bring acidity levels back to neutral and out of the danger zone for tooth enamel damage.
The problem with frequent nibbling is it continuously exposes teeth to acid. Over time, this erodes tooth enamel and leads to tooth decay, cavities, thin enamel and other nasty teeth problems.
That’s why it’s better for teeth to eat your chocolate in one sitting. Although, we must add, we encourage you to eat in moderation too!
Tip #2 Pair chocolate with other food
Teeth are affected by ‘how frequently’ you have chocolate, rather than ‘how much’ chocolate you have.
In other words, chocolate is bad for teeth if you nibble frequently on it. Each nibble at a chocolate bar counts as an eating frequency. Even if it’s just a bite!
Therefore, a nice way to reduce the frequency of eating is to indulge your chocolate cravings along with a meal. One suggestion is to have chocolate after your lunch or dinner as dessert. Pairing it up like this counts as one eating frequency.
This applies not only for chocolate, but all foods too. It’s important to give your teeth clear breaks between eating.
Tip #3 Avoid sticky treats
With all our teeth’s crevices and ridges, soft and sticky food can get stuck for hours after eating. This is especially bad for children.
The worst chocolate for teeth is those with sticky additions, like caramel or gummies inside. We suggest opting for plain dark chocolate or plain milk chocolate instead.
However, if your calling is rum and raisin, make sure to keep up your daily brushing and flossing routine. To avoid any sticky surprises lurking on your teeth, see your dentist every 6-12 months for a professional teeth clean.
At our dentist clinic in Blackburn, we’d love to see you eating the foods you love, while maintaining healthy and happy teeth.