New Patient // 775-204-1050 Current Patient // 775-331-4456

Chocolate’s Surprising Dental Health Benefits

We have some fantastic news for all our patients and neighbors with a sweet tooth! It might sound surprising, but the team at our Sparks dental office says you can eat chocolate – for your smile’s sake! But before you rush out to buy candy bars, remember not all chocolate is the same.

Dark Chocolate: The Secret Cavity Fighter

Recent studies in the US, England, and Japan show that dark chocolate may help prevent decay, cavities, and plaque. There’s evidence that dark chocolate might be as effective as fluoride in fighting cavities. However, we’re not saying to skip your fluoride treatments just yet. More research is needed to confirm these findings.

Why Dark Chocolate?

Both milk chocolate and dark chocolate contain sugar, but not only does dark chocolate have less sugar, but it also has ingredients that may actually help dental health. These benefits come from compounds in dark chocolate, particularly in the cocoa bean husk, which can fight off bacteria and plaque. How? Eating sugary foods such as chocolate can leave sugar lingering in your mouth, which bacteria feed on. These bacteria then produce acid that wears away enamel, leading to decay. However, the compounds in dark chocolate help eliminate bacteria, stopping the process before it starts.

Remember, these benefits only apply to dark chocolate, not milk or white chocolate. We also recommend checking the sugar content in any chocolate product and choosing one with less than 8 grams per serving. If possible, opt for organic dark chocolate for added benefits such as:

  • Rich in Antioxidants: Helps fight free radicals and supports overall health.
  • Lower Sugar Content: Reduces the risk of cavities and tooth decay.
  • Improves Heart Health: This can help lower blood pressure and improve blood flow.
  • Boosts Mood: Contains compounds that enhance mood and reduce stress.

Don’t Overdo It

Even though dark chocolate may have some overall and oral health benefits, you shouldn’t overindulge. Additionally, it’s always important to see your dentist in Sparks for regular dental check-ups to help maintain good oral health and catch any potential issues early. At these visits, your dentist may: 

  • Perform professional dental cleanings to remove plaque and tartar
  • Apply dental sealants to protect teeth from cavities
  • Recommend fluoride treatments to strengthen enamel

How to Know if You Should See a Dentist

Even if you don’t particularly enjoy chocolate or other sweet treats, there are some telltale signs that you should see a dentist, including: 

With World Chocolate Day (July 7th) just around the corner, it’s essential to be mindful of how indulging in this delightful treat can impact your dental health. You can savor your favorite sweets without harming your teeth by making wise choices, such as choosing dark chocolate and maintaining good oral hygiene. If you have any concerns or need dental care, contact our dental office in Sparks. We’re here to help you keep your smile healthy and beautiful.

< Back to Blog