Chocolates are a delight for every one, be it children or adults. It consists of different types such as, gummies, candies, caramel, lollypops, fudge, white chocolates, milk chocolates, dark chocolates. Chocolates consumed any time of the day with relish as they give you a feeling of happiness and pleasure and boosts adrenaline.
Chocolates have sugar content. This is in the form of raw and processed sugars. It consist of combination of cocoa, powdered milk and sugar. The higher sugar content chocolates can cause cavity more than dark chocolate. Dark chocolates are a good choice as they keep our teeth cavity free.
Chocolates are the most favourite and widely consumed food type, but do chocolate really create tooth cavity?
Dark chocolates contains 70% cocoa, 20% powdered milk and 10% sugar. They contain polyphenols, flavonoid and antioxidant’s. Polyphenols prevent the overgrowth of harmful bacteria’s. They also prevent some sugars from turning into acid which breaks down enamel and causes tooth cavity. These antioxidants help to fight against gum disease.
Sugar in chocolate attract bacteria, tooth decay occurs when bacteria of oral cavity turns sugar into acid. Most commonly found bacteria are Streptococcus mutans and sobrirus. These bacteria survive by utilising sugar which we eat and form dental plaque, which forms on surface of teeth. Once the sugar broken down into acids by this bacteria there breakdown of enamel followed by cavity formation.
The ph of an oral cavity is 7. As soon as we consume carbohydrates like chocolates the ph becomes acidic with in 10 minutes and then becomes to basic ph of around 8-9 after 20 minutes. To reverse this acidic attack on our teeth one should consume water or alkaline foods within 10 minutes. If the plaque not eliminated while brushing, bacteria in the saliva continue to turn into acid.
Precautions to avoid cavity after chocolate:
Gargling or drinking water after chocolate consumption is of utmost importance, this helps to rinse the mouth and dilute sugar so that it doesn’t stick to the tooth surface.
It is also advisable to eat sugary or sweetened products to have them with meals instead in between to prevent acid attacks for longer period.
Chocolate consumption is avoided before going to bed as during night time the secretion of saliva is low. This causes the remnants of chocolate to adhere on tooth surface thereby causing tooth decay.
Tooth decay can be overcome by alkaline food such as fennel seeds or peanuts after having sweet or acidic food to neutralise the decay causing process.
Visit to a dentist every 3-6 months for both children and adults helps to access one’s oral hygiene and its maintenance to prevent cavity and gum disease.
The bottom line is to keep intake of chocolates minimum especially between meals and right before bed time.
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