Valentine's Day is traditionally celebrated by giving and receiving all types of sweet treats. The presence of love and romance in the atmosphere encourages people to consume a great amount of chocolate during this special day (and the days to come!).
However, what is meant to be an act of love might bring significant problems for some people's teeth and oral health.
Valentines Day: In numbers
Studies reflect and confirm how vital those heart-shaped boxes and their content are on this date. For example, the National Confectioners Association surveyed this topic and concluded that 80% of people in America intend to share sweets during Valentine's Day. They also discovered that 92% of them consider candy and chocolate as a special treat.
Types Of Chocolate
Not all types of chocolates cause the same damage to your teeth, and it is crucial to be aware of that.
While milk chocolate is the most popular choice, it is one of the less advisable ones. It is more sugary than other types of chocolate, which substantially impacts your oral health. It is also essential to consider that many milk chocolates are filled with equally sugary stuff—for example, fruits such as cherries with syrup, sugared nuts, nougat, and caramel.
White chocolate is not the best for your oral health, neither. It counts with the same amount of sugar, but the lack of cocoa, rich in antibacterial polyphenols, makes it an even worse choice.
On the other hand, dark chocolate carries a higher portion of cocoa (70% or over). When processed, less sugar is added, turning it in the less harmful option for your teeth. It usually has plenty of antioxidants that help keep low levels of bacteria in the mouth—consuming dark chocolate in measured amounts can even reduce the risk of cavities.
Other Healthy Substitutes
For those who are not into dark chocolate, sugarless candies can be a suitable option. As they count with less or no sugar, they don't "feed" bacteria that can damage your teeth.
Another good and sweet option are chocolates with almonds or nuts. They might not be the healthiest ones, because we still have high amounts of sugar, but nuts are great allies when it comes to keeping your teeth clean.
As viscous sweets tend to remain in your teeth, the nuts will help break apart the leftover part.
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Secondary source educational information gathered by the author.
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