Brush, Floss, And Eat Chocolate?
Imagine your hygienist added “consume chocolate” to your oral health regimen. That’s one step I’d be sure not to miss. It’s a nice thought, but we all know chocolate isn’t good for your teeth, although, research suggests an extract of cocoa might be.
Research behind the theory that a cocoa extract would be beneficial to your teeth began in the 1980s. Through extensive clinical studies, Tetsuo Nakomoto, and a professor at the LSU Health Sciences Center in New Orleans discovered a cocoa extract was beneficial in fighting cavities.
The discovery wasn’t widely recognized until Arman Sadeghpour used the research as part of his doctoral thesis at Tulane University. Sadeghpour compared the effects of cocoa extract and fluoride on strengthening tooth enamel which confirmed that cocoa extract strengthens and enlarges the crystals that make up the tooth, resulting in stronger enamel. Fluoride, on the other hand, strengthens teeth by adhering to and incorporating itself into the tooth.
Inspired by these findings, Nakomota and Sadeghpour developed a new toothpaste in Louisiana that contains no fluoride and instead, relies on a blend of cocoa extract and other minerals to strengthen and harden tooth enamel. The toothpaste, called Theodent, gives consumers who worry about consuming fluoride another option.
Is the toothpaste chocolate flavored? No. It has a mint flavor, like traditional pastes on the market, though developers hope to eventually expand the product line to include a sugar-free, chocolate-flavored toothpaste for kids.
Next week, the toothpaste will hit the shelves of Whole Foods grocery stores in New Orleans and Baton Rouge, New York, New Jersey and a number of stores along the West Coast.
Sedeghpour, now Theodent’s CEO, said that this year, Theodent plans to seek the American Dental Association’s Seal of Acceptance.
Is this a product you’d be interested in trying? The high price point might be a deterrent. At $9.99 a tube, I struggle justifying spending so much on toothpaste, especially without the novelty of a chocolate flavor!