It's a common misconception. You can picture it now, your dentist, peering over their glasses at you, frowning while they tell you "You've been a very bad boy/girl. No more chocolate." Gees, what's with the fun police? But it gets you thinking, is chocolate REALLY that bad for your teeth?
Some chocolate has been known to fight decay! The answer depends on the type of chocolate. As a general rule, the less processed, the better. Dark chocolate contains compounds known as Polyphenols and Flavonoids which have been shown to slow tooth decay. Antioxidants (nearly four times that found in green tea) can make their way into your saliva and even help fight bad breath. And of course chocolate has been shown to improve mood (duh!).
However it's not all rosy. Highly processed dark (as a guide less than 70% cocoa), milk and white chocolate all contain higher levels of sugar. The average Australian consumes a whopping 54kg of sugar a year, and oral bacteria LOVE it. The bacteria process this sugar, excrete acid and, you guessed it, tooth decay is the result.
So dark chocolate is actually OK in moderation, but as always good brushing and flossing will help keep on top of oral health. Your Northbridge Dentists team are here to help with this, and we promise not to be the fun police ;)