It hardly seems two minutes since the last of the Christmas giant-sized packs of chocolate were consumed. However, supermarket shelves are once more groaning under the weight of sweets and chocolate, mainly heart-shaped. It must be February, the most romantic month of the year! Many chocolate manufacturers expect to make as many sales for Valentine’s Day as they do for Christmas. While some of us may prefer to ‘say it with flowers’, it’s evidently still hard to beat the romantic appeal of a box of chocolates. Whether you are buying chocolate for your partner or you just want to treat yourself, you can still do a lot to protect your teeth, even while you are indulging.
It’s not all bad news as you can still eat chocolate, just think carefully about what type of chocolate you are choosing. Dark chocolate is by far the best option. Although it’s not to everyone’s taste, the dark stuff contains antioxidants and phenolic compounds that combat cell damage throughout the body. It also contains cocoa, which contains tannin. This actually helps prevent tooth erosion and decay by combating inflammation of the gums. Cocoa also reduces plaque growth. It even seems to lower acid production. Dark chocolate can improve blood circulation in the gums.
At the risk of sounding unromantic, do try to avoid snacking on sweets and chocolate between mealtimes. Of course, always remember to brush your teeth carefully for two minutes, twice a day – your teeth will thank you for it and so will your loved one!