Chocolate Can Help Kill Bacteria in Your Mouth
Food scientists have known for a while now that there are certain molecules in chocolate that give it antibacterial properties. These special molecules, called polyphenols, are also naturally occurring in tea leaves and red wine. These polyphenols, which protect plant cells from bacteria and other damage, can also be helpful in protecting our cells from bacteria. So, by consuming these products in moderation, you can be actively protecting your tooth surfaces from bacteria buildup. To reiterate: when consumed in moderation. No amounts of polyphenols justify a wine/chocolate binge in the name of your teeth.
However, scientists have recently been able to derive polyphenols from plants cheaply. The implications of this coating are very powerful in the dental field. They could be used to pre-treat implants, crowns and bridges to eliminate surface bacteria and prevent further build-up. The polyphenol molecules could also be used as an ingredient in your daily mouth rinses to prevent the formation of biofilms. Then, they could potentially surpass the field of dentistry, by being incorporated into other surgical implants, like prosthetic knees or hips. Advances like these serve to show how much science can teach us about the everyday items around us, and what can be derived from them. Surely as the scientific community advances, we will find many more unexpected uses for the foods we see on a daily basis!