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Chocolate Toothpaste

A recent study has found that a compound in chocolate is actually even better at fighting cavities than fluoride.

Cocoa beans drying in sun

Photo: Yannou (flickr)

A recent study found that a chemical compound found in cocoa beans like these is actually better at fighting cavities than fluoride

We’ve all heard that candy will give you cavities, but a recent study has found that a compound in chocolate is actually even better at fighting cavities than fluoride.

The compound, theobromine, can be extracted from the cocoa beans used to make chocolate. Researchers at Tulane University and the University of New Orleans found that theobromine can help fight cavities.

Everyday thin layers of our tooth enamel are continually dissolving and then being rebuilt, or remineralized. Fluoride aids in this process by helping your teeth rebuild the hard enamel surfaces, and by making your teeth less susceptible to the acids produced by germs in plaque.

While the research is still in the early stages, theobromine proved even more effective than fluoride in lab tests at both rebuilding enamel and protecting teeth from acids. However, it will be another two to four years before enough real-world tests can be done for it to be approved for use in toothpastes or mouth rinses.

Don’t forget that chocolate not only contains theobromine, but is also full of sugars that feed the decay-causing bacteria in your mouth. For this reason, simply eating chocolate in its traditional form will not have the same tooth preserving effects.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_WGPOHSBK2ZBQRYWL3U3MNGGNPY Serena Mcelyea

    Sooner or later, a kind of chocolate might be developed from this that will keep your teeth white and healthy. There’s already chocolate-flavored toothpaste, so it might actually be right around the corner…

    Serena Mcelyea

  • http://profiles.google.com/nathanbedingfield87 Nathan Bedingfield

    Chocolate toothpaste? I like the sound of that. Well, this might be an effective to let kids brush their teeth on their own. After all, who wouldn’t want to taste chocolate while brushing?

    Nathan Bedingfield

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