According to a study by Tulane University doctoral candidate Arman Sadeghpour, an extract of cocoa powder is more effective than fluoride in fighting cavities. The extract, a white crystalline powder whose chemical makeup is similar to caffeine’s, helps harden tooth enamel, making patients less susceptible to tooth decay. The extract has been proven effective in the animal model, and Sadeghpour’s doctoral thesis research compared the extract side by side to fluoride on the enamel surface of human teeth.

Sadeghpour said that it will probably be another 2 to 4 years before the product is approved for human use and available for sale, but he has already created a prototype of peppermint-flavored toothpaste with the cavity-fighting cocoa extract added.