Brush, Floss, And Eat Chocolate?

Author: Dental Geek
01.06.12 / 2:47 pm

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!

Dental Geek

Dental Geek

8 responses to “Brush, Floss, And Eat Chocolate?”

  1. I think that this is intresting that it actually had some good qualities other than tasting good.
    I dont know that I would buy it at that price. I also think that if they actually do make it to taste like chocolate there might be a niche for getting a tube as a gift/novelty from someone.
    As for kids (and some adults)..I think they would have to be to heavily monitored, they would eat the whole tube in one brushing.

  2. Ten bucks for a tube of toothpaste is a lot, but if they market it correctly, maybe as an “ultra-premium” toothpaste, it could do well. Even in a down economy, ultra-premium and designer/luxury brands often sell very well. Look at ultra-premium liquor, cars, and clothes. People are willing to pay a premium when they perceive they’re getting the best of the best, when a product makes them “feel good” about owning/using it, or when it provides a unique benefit they can’t get from similar products.

  3. I agree with the others. The price point is a bit high but for some people that would not be an issue as long as they believe in the benefits. As I am a fan of some of the boutique type products, I would be willing to try it.

    ~Hal

  4. First thing I thought of was eating a hershey’s bar would be good. Guess not! I’d actually be curious to try this though. A whitening toothpaste with cocoa extract would be neat…

  5. I’m wondering if the dental benefit is achieved by eating dark chocolate such as Ghiardelli or others (e.g., 70%+ chocolate). There are other reported health benefits associated with moderate consumption (or so we’re told).

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