This Just In
I have a chunk of chocolate (Trader Joe’s Pound Plus Bittersweet with Almonds) nestled meltingly atop my grateful tongue as I type.
O. had an appointment with his dentist this morning to get sealants on his molars. (He has apparently inherited my deeply-grooved teeth rather than my Old Man’s relatively shallow – thus not cavity prone – teeth.) Dr. Rose had advised me to let O. snack in the car ride over, since he wouldn’t be allowed to eat for two hours after the sealant was applied, so I gave him a baggie full of almonds. As the good doctor cleaned bits of almond out of his teeth, he told O. “Keep eating almonds. Those won’t give you cavities.” And (ever the eager student of all things oral) I said “That makes sense. I guess protein doesn’t break down into sugars like carbohydrates.” Dr. Rose said “Yes, that, plus the fats in nuts absorb so much acid that they actually help prevent cavities. In fact…” and it was here that he said the magic words:
“Chocolate is actually good for your teeth. All that fat just soaks up acids, and there’s an antibacterial agent in cocoa that prevents plaque.” Apparently as long as it’s not adulterated with caramel, raisins, or other sticky agents, chocolate does not cause cavities. Chocolate with nuts would presumably be okay.
I didn’t get a chance to fully probe the intricacies of the chocolate-as-orally-healthful factoid because I was basking in the pool of golden light that bathed me, listening to the transcendent sounds of choirs of angels singing Mendel’s “Hallelujah Chorus.” Then suddenly the appointment was over and we were given a blue surgical glove blown up into a balloon and ushered out.
I still plan to brush my teeth after eating chocolate (just as I brush my teeth after eating just about anything). But never again will I face the dilemma of whether to cut a chocolate afterglow short with brushing or a vigorous swish of water around the mouth (the next best thing to brushing, in my book). From now on, I will let those beautifully murky cocoa notes linger, safe in the assurance that “chocolate is actually good for my teeth.”
I’m taking my young cousin JD for a visit to Dr. Rose next month, and at that time I will get more details and report back. Until then, consider yourself privy to the new shit.