Do you drink sugar-free drinks? If you’ve decided to cut back on your sugar intake, that’s good! Your oral health will benefit from this practice, however there’s a recent study that shows sugar-free alternatives are not completely safe for our teeth.
Sugar-Free Drinks – Not 100% Teeth Friendly
A Health Researcher at the University of Melbourne, Eric Reynolds, along with his fellow researchers, found that sugar-free products can still cause a danger to the teeth.
While these products are low in sugar content and can help reduce our risk of developing tooth decay, they also contain high levels of acids. These acids strip the tooth enamel of minerals. When this is done continuously, the layer beneath the enamel called the dentin, may get exposed.
Once the dentin becomes more exposed, the teeth will also become more sensitive.
Reynolds and his colleagues tested their theory using a variety of sodas and even sports drinks. Fifteen soft drink brands, including three that are sugar-free, were applied on extracted healthy human molars.
These human molars were free of cavities prior to testing, but after the test, researchers found that their enamel suffered from significant erosion. They also found no significant difference between the enamel-damaging effects of soft drinks that are sugar-free and those with added sugar varieties.
Eight brands of sports drinks also underwent the same testing. They found that six brands caused significant softening and wearing away of the enamel surface.
How to Minimize the Risk of Dental Erosion
How can we protect teeth from erosion?
- Reduce sugary and sugar-free drinks. By making a conscious effort with our food and drink choices, we can also keep our teeth safe from the attack of acids.
- Hydrate with water. Water is sugar, acid, and calorie-free. It’s good for our oral health.
- Use fluoridated toothpaste and mouthwash. While fluoride content in over-the-counter items such as toothpaste and mouthwash are low, they still can help keep the teeth surfaces strong. Look for fluoride when shopping for dental care products.
- Chew sugar-free gum with Xylitol. This type of gum helps boost saliva flow in your mouth. Xylitol can help fight against bacteria that softens tooth surfaces.
- Wait for 30 minutes after eating before brushing. Our teeth are at their most vulnerable after eating because of the acids in certain foods.
- Waiting at least 30 minutes before brushing or flossing allows the acids to be neutralized by your saliva.
Finally, don’t forget to visit your dentist for regular checkups!
If you have any questions, please call 905-822-8880 or contact us.