Science News

Chocolate Is Good for your Teeth

Sun, 27th Aug 2000

Good news for women, and other chocolate addicts, chocolate is good for your teeth, a new study has shown. Japanese researchers have found that parts of the cocoa bean used to make chocolate, can thwart mouth bacteria and stop dental decay. Tooth decay starts when Streptococcus mutans bacteria produce a sticky substance called glucan which helps the bacteria anchor themselves to teeth, forming plaque. Bacteria in plaque convert sugars to acids, which eat away the tooth’s surface and lead to cavities. Scientists have found that cocoa bean husk (CBH) – the outer part of the bean – is a potent source of antibacterial agents. Unfortunately, CBH is the part of the cocoa bean that tends to go to waste during chocolate production – but plans are afoot to use CBH extracts in mouthwash and toothpaste’s. Personally, I’d rather have the chocolate!

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