It’s the time of year for indulging in chocolates, the perfect accompaniment to flowers and romantic cards. Valentine’s Day means consuming 58 million pounds of chocolate in the US in just that week according to the CNN Freedom Project. Valentine’s Day gobbles up more than five percent of the annual chocolate sales in the year, accounting for $345 million in sales. That’s a lot of chocolate, and a big whammy of bacteria “food” for your teeth.

Chocolate doesn’t cause cavities, but the bacteria that lives in your mouth loves sugar. The more sugar you consume, the more you’re feeding the bacteria, and the higher your odds of developing cavities as a result. Plus, with an obesity epidemic and the American tendency to overdo sugar as it is, most people can certainly benefit from a little less of the sweet stuff.


Fortunately, sugar-free chocolates and sweets have come a long way. Today, there are many artificial sweetener options, many of them low or zero calorie and natural such as monk fruit juice and the stevia plant.


The Best Picks


The Hershey brand has an impressive inventory of sugar-free treats available in your favorite bite-sized bars. Try the milk and dark chocolate, York’s peppermint patties, and of course mini Reese’s. You’ll often find them in the traditional candy aisle in stores hanging in bite-sized baggies right alongside full-sugar options.


There’s also Russell Stover, available in the same section of stores, and offering an eclectic mix of treats. From pecan and caramel bites to chocolate-covered marshmallows and bon bons with flavors like birthday cake and strawberry, you’ll never fun out of options.


Try your local chocolate artisans, many of whom are now offering sugar-free picks. See’s Candy has a selection, or Trader Joe’s has some delicious sugar-free chocolate covered almonds in both dark and milk chocolate.


This Valentine’s Day, skip the sugar-overload while still indulging in some sweetness. Your dentist and teeth will thank you!