We’ve all been eating our advent calendar chocolate wrong

And it could be ruining our teeth.

We’ve all been eating our advent calendar chocolate wrong
Christmas Advent Calendar
Do you tear open each daily door first thing in the morning? (Picture: Getty Images)

There’s nothing quite like that morning hit of indulgence as you eat your daily advent calendar chocolate.

Over the years, many have upgraded to calendars with beauty goodies, boozy miniatures and even sex toys behind each door.

But it’s not just flavoured gin or bedroom gadgets that are best left until later in the day to enjoy – delaying gratification on the sweet stuff (at least for a little while) is also recommended.

According to Dr Khaled Kasem, Chief Orthodontist of leading invisible orthodontics chain Impress, the perfect time to snaffle your day’s treat is at least an hour after you brush your teeth.

‘You might think that waiting till the evening to eat your advent chocolate is the healthier option, but chocolate will give you a great mental and physical boost in the morning due to its caffeine and sugar content’ says Dr Khaled.

‘It’s also packed full of flavonols, the antioxidant that helps to delay cell damage caused by the oxidants that we are exposed to daily from things like air pollution, cigarette smoke, and alcohol. Chocolate actually contains more antioxidants than green tea! 

‘However, you need to make sure you’re waiting to brush your teeth after eating chocolate. Waiting at least half an hour before brushing your teeth after eating anything containing acid or sugar to maintain strong enamel.’

Girl in front of christmas tree eating chocolate looking at camera
Give it an hour after brushing to keep your dental health in check (Picture: Getty Images/Image Source)

This waiting period is particularly important if you have aligners or are undergoing orthodontic treatment, as your teeth are extra sensitive. Dr Khaled recommends giving your mouth a good rinse with water after eating your chocolate too, as this will help reduce the risk of damage.

If you’re concerned about how your advent calendar could impact your dental health, you may also want to ensure you go for a tooth-friendly option.

‘Keeping it simple with plain chocolates is a lot better for your teeth,’ advises Dr Khaled. ‘Cracking into toffees and hard caramels or even a creme egg is not the way to go if you’re worried about the effects on your teeth.’

To go one better, look for one with dark chocolate or nuts. Dark chocolate has been found to prevent tooth decay by fighting the bacteria that causes the sugar to turn into acid, and it contains strong antibacterial agents.

Additionally, nuts balance out acid erosion in saliva and as such reduce tooth decay risk – just steer clear of caramel or other ingredients that may get stuck in your gnashers.

Mint is another winner in the eyes of Dr Khaled, who says: ‘It’s full of nutrients and is considered one of the best antioxidants, full of vitamins A and C. Vitamin C in particular has great benefits by building healthy teeth and gums.’

It can’t replace the bad breath blasting powers of brushing your teeth with a minty-fresh paste, but it’s better than starting the New Year with a mouthful of cavities.

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