Sugar-free drinks are not a healthy alternative for your teeth

Sugar-free drinksIf you’ve been feeling good about your switch from sugary soda and sports drinks to sugar-free beverages, this might sound like bad news: sugar-free liquids can damage your teeth.

A new study tested more than 20 products containing sugar and more than 20 sugar-free products, including soft drinks and sports drinks. The research revealed that those with acidic additives and low pH levels (a measure of acidity) harm teeth, even the sugar-free ones.

Reducing sugar intake reduces risk of dental decay, but…

A chemical mix of acids in certain foods and drinks, even sugar-free ones, can cause dental erosion, which is a condition where acid dissolves the tooth’s hard tissues. In early stages, erosion strips the surface layers of tooth enamel. At the advanced stage, it can expose the soft pulp inside the tooth.

Most sodas and sports drinks soften dental enamel, sugar-free or not

Both sugar-free and sugary soft drinks and flavored mineral waters can cause loss of the tooth surface.

Products that are labeled sugar-free aren’t necessarily safe of your teeth

Dental experts have always known that acidic products can cause tooth erosion, such as citrus juices. But many people don’t realize that sugar-free products can be dangerous for your dental health. This new study highlights the need for better education about all the various foods and drinks that can put your teeth at risk. Better product labeling and consumer information could also help us all choose food and drinks that are safe for our teeth, or at least be aware of the need to rinse our teeth and then brush after drinking or eating them.

Here are some tips to help you protect your teeth

  • Check product labels for acidic additives and avoid citric acid and phosphoric acid
  • Drink more water
  • Drink less soda and sports drinks
  • Rinse teeth after drinking or eating acidic products and then wait about an hour before brushing (Brushing to soon after exposing your teeth to acids can remove the softened enamel)
  • Make sure to see your dentist twice a year for exams and professional cleanings
  • Call for an appointment today: (304) 754-8803


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