Chocolate and Tooth Decay

I love Halloween.  I’m not one for all the decorations and such, but I love that we get to share candy.  When I was a kid I was excited to get the different types of candy from all the neighbors.  Lollipops.  Candy bars.  Bit-o-Honey.  Jolly Ranchers.  Sticky.  Sweet.  Chewy.  Gooey.

Now I am a little more selective about what I eat because I want to make sure I am eating good stuff.  I also know that some sweets do more damage to tooth enamel than others.  So if you are buying sweets at the store to hand out on Halloween, try to steer clear of sour or acidic treats that attack tooth enamel and buy chocolate instead.

quality chocolateChocolate research shows that it is one of the better candies as far as tooth decay.  Tooth decay occurs when bacteria in the mouth turn sugar to acids, which eat away at the tooth’s surface and cause cavities.  The antibacterial agents in cocoa beans offset its high sugar levels, but you should look to quality chocolate for this to be true.   Lower quality chocolate may contain over-processed ingredients, which strips the cocoa of its benefits.  Chocolate candy might have no real chocolate in it at all.

It is also good idea to set aside a time for eating the candy and then put it away.  If kids graze through the candy all day it doesn’t give their teeth time to recover from the sugar assault.  Drinking water with candy is also a good idea.  Soda and juice have added sugar which adds fuel to the cavity fire, but water helps to wash the sugars away.

Who knew that my love of chocolate would end up helping to keep my  teeth healthy?  Have a happy and safe Halloween!

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