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you are > Dental Health Articles > Valentine’s indulgences - Good for the heart, bad for teeth

Valentine’s indulgences - Good for the heart, bad for teeth
Updated: 2/15/2011 7:00:11 PM

Show love for your heart and teeth on Valentine Valentine’s Day romance is often displayed through flowers, candy and dining out, but some of these traditional treats can effect different parts of the body in both positive and negative ways.

A compound called flavanoid, commonly found in chocolate and red wine, may help lower blood pressure when consumed in moderation.

Flavanoids cut down on LDL, also known as bad cholesterol, and reduce plaque formation in arteries, which can benefit a person’s cardiovascular health. Dark chocolate in particular contains the highest concentration of flavanoids and does not possess as many hydrogenated fats as milk or white chocolate. However, flavanoid-containing foods and drinks can also be detrimental to an individual’s dental health.

Pigmented red wine stains teeth the same way it stains clothing or a carpet. Moreover, acid is produced when bacteria come into contact with sugar or starch in a person’s mouth and attacks teeth for about 20 minutes, according to the American Dental Association (ADA). Repetition of this process diminishes the hard tissue that covers teeth and causes tooth decay.

To avoid staining or eroding teeth, the ADA recommends individuals brush their teeth after meals with a fluoride toothpaste and choose healthy snack options that do not contain added sugar.

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