Hearing a dentist praise chocolate for its health benefits seems too good to be true. More health professionals are straying from the old belief that all chocolate negatively affects health. In the right doses, certain chocolates can lower your risk of stroke and improve thought processes. Although most of your body stands to gain a lot from the sweet treat, you should still clean your teeth after improving your health with chocolate indulgences. In this article, Rochester family dentist Dr. Gilly Calcagno explains how to enjoy the health benefits of chocolate, while avoiding cavities.
Have Your Cake and Eat It Too
Feeling guilty for eating chocolate may be a thing of the past. Studies show that cocoa discourages blood clotting and prevents blood from thinning. The same studies concluded that eating at least 45 grams of chocolate a week lowers the risk of stroke by 20%. Your heart also benefits from an occasional chocolate dessert. Research indicates that people who eat chocolate regularly are at less at risk of heart disease and high blood pressure. Chocolate’s effect on blood and the circulatory system improves blood flow. Increased blood flow sharpens vision and boosts alertness. All of these positive attributes of chocolate may have you reaching for the nearest candy bar, but don’t forget about your dental health.
Enjoying the Health Benefits of Chocolate
Sweetened chocolate, despite all it can do for the rest of your body, promotes tooth decay. If you actively clean up after a chocolate snack, however, you can still have strong teeth to bite into another chocolate cupcake. Brushing after you eat is a good idea, but doing so too quickly may damage teeth. Bacteria in the mouth feed on food particles, especially sugary foods. These bacteria produce acid that damages tooth enamel. Brushing immediately after eating subjects teeth to abrasion from your toothbrush. Dentists recommend waiting at least half an hour after eating to brush. Rinsing with water after you eat provides the safest way to gently cleanse your mouth of bacteria and the acid they generate. When you brush, use fluoride toothpaste to help strengthen enamel.
Schedule an Appointment with Your Rochester Dentist
If your teeth succumbed to acid after a chocolate binge, see Dr. Calcagno for an oral examination and cleaning. To schedule an appointment at our 55902 dentist office, call (507) 281-3659. We serve patients from Rochester, Red Wing, St. Charles, Winona, Farmington, and surrounding areas.