Everyone loves a tasty cupcake. Lucky for chocoholics, this Friday, Oct. 18, is National Chocolate Cupcake Day. You might think that National Chocolate Cupcake Day would be a pain for dentists; however, dark cocoa can actually be good for your teeth. Yes, you read correctly. In small doses, this drool-worthy food can be healthy.
Chocolate’s good for your smile
Dark chocolate is loaded with disease-fighting flavonoids, which are antioxidants found in many fruits, vegetables and red wine. In fact, it appears chocolate contains more of them than any other food. Meanwhile, in your mouth, there’s a bacterium called oral streptococci that erodes your tooth enamel. The antioxidants in dark cocoa prevent the bacteria from turning into damaging acids by acting as an antibacterial compound.
These antioxidants also reduce inflammation in the body and help lower the risk of gingivitis, or the swelling of the gums.
It gets even better. Cocoa butter, a pure vegetable oil found within the plant, layers your teeth to fight off dental plaque and other bacteria. So, keep on showering your loved one with those cocoa butter kisses.
What are the overall health benefits of chocolate?
Since oral health is intertwined with your overall health, it’s important to look at the big picture. Eating a few squares of dark cocoa daily may reduce your risk of heart attack, according to a study led by Diane Becker MPH, ScD, a researcher with the John Hopkins University School of Medicine. Becker discovered that blood platelets clotted more slowly in patients who ate dark chocolate compared to those who didn’t. In essence, flavanols lower cell damage involved in heart disease.