Whitening strips, whitening toothpastes, professional whitening — attaining that winsome smile should not be a problem these days as options galore. Did you know that it is also possible to have your choppers whitened simply by eating certain foods, in particular acidic ones like strawberries and oranges?
Acidic foods work by dissolving superficial stains on your pearly whites. However, they can lead to tooth sensitivity if you employ them too much. Fortunately, there is something else that you can munch on to make your teeth whiter, and you will certainly have no issues whatsoever eating it. What’s the magic food? Chocolate!
Before you dismiss this article as a mere hoax, consider reading further. There is a perfectly rational explanation behind it, and it actually comes from scientists themselves!
It’s All About Theobromine in Cacao Beans
Chocolate comes from cacao beans, which are actually good for you because they contain many plant-based compounds that bring various health favors. One of them is theobromine, a bitter-tasting alkaloid that is proven by numerous scientific investigations to be very good for your cardiovascular system.
Experts say theobromine is also beneficial for your teeth because it helps make enamel, the outer covering of the teeth, become super hard. The harder the enamel is, the more protected your choppers from harm.
Having hard enamel is the key to saving your pearly whites from ending up stained — you can have peace of mind that your teeth will remain sparkling white even if you love drinking green tea, coffee and red wine, all of which can leave your teeth discolored and your smile less than perfect.
Other Chemicals are Role Players, Too
However, it’s not just theobromine in cacao beans that help keep your teeth stay white, but an assortment of other all-natural chemicals as well. For instance, there are good amounts of tannins present in cacao beans. Tannins are what give cacao beans and chocolate their characteristic dark coloration. Despite of this, tannins actually help whiten your teeth by preventing bacteria from adhering to and multiplying on your choppers.
Bacteria on your teeth create acids that weaken and melt off the enamel. With the enamel co0mpromised, your choppers are more susceptible to discoloration as well as dental carries!
Then there are also polyphenols around that help stave off the damaging effects of bacteria on your enamel and also the overall health of your pearly whites. Experts say that polyphenols help fight off bad breath and gum problems, too. Having healthy gums is vital for having a strong and beautiful set of teeth!
The Darker the Chocolate, the Whiter the Teeth
Now that you are acquainted with the science behind the ability of chocolate snacking to give you the smile of your dreams, don’t just reach for any chocolate out there — get your hands on the dark kind!
Dark chocolate is the closest thing to cacao beans as it contains higher concentration of those healthy beans and less of unwanted ingredients, many of which can actually damage your teeth and your overall health. Because it contains more cacao beans, dark chocolate packs lots of theobromine and other smile-friendly chemicals.
Needless to say, you should stay away from milk and white chocolates as they contain tons of sugar and milk, both of which are a no-no if you want to keep your smile in a pristine shape. However, it doesn’t mean that you should stuff your face with dark chocolate just to flash the most winning smile in town. Do remember that dark chocolate contains lots of calories, and eating too much of the decadent treat can wreck your figure.
Looking for something that is closer to actual cacao beans than dark chocolate? You can always opt for cacao nibs, although many find them unpalatable because of their bitter taste.