Sugar-Free Doesn’t Mean Tooth-Friendly!

We often believe that beverages or treats labeled as “sugar-free” are safe for our teeth.  However, this is a misconception. According to researchers at the University of Melbourne’s Oral Health Cooperative Research Centre (Oral Health CRC), sugar-free soft drinks and candies can harm tooth enamel as much as those that contain sugar.

These scientists claim that reducing sugar intake does not always result in a lower risk of tooth decay. Instead, the chemicals in drinks with artificially sweetening can cause tooth decay.  The chief executive of the Oral Health CRC claims that although a decreased intake of sugar can reduce some risk of dental decay, the acids in the treats and beverages can still lead to erosion of teeth. Also, acid can dissolve tooth enamel and even expose the soft pulp in the tooth’s interior if the erosion progresses further.

Researchers analyzed the impacts of drinks and treats labeled as sugar-free on dental health by studying a mix of 23 different sugar-free sports drinks, soft drinks, and candies. They observed that they contain acidic additives and low pH levels, which are extremely harmful to tooth enamel. The researchers also discovered that most of the sugar-free beverages softened the enamel by around 30 to 50 percent, and even sugar-free candies labeled as “tooth-friendly” caused damage to the enamel.

One of the main concerns is the high rate of dental decay among children. He affirms that one in three children experience tooth erosion, and that this rate could increase now that there are more and more sugar-free products. Try avoiding buying sugar-free products that contain ingredients such as acidic additives citric acid and phosphoric acid.

Feel free to contact Drs. Ali & Ali and the caring team at Wellesley Dental Group if you have any thoughts or concerns; they will be happy to answer your questions! Contact us today at 781-237-9071 or to set up an appointment and consultation.

Your little ones and teens are welcome to visit our pediatric dentist Dr. VanDr. Emad is happy to help with your orthodontic needs. For wisdom teeth extractions or any other oral surgery needs Dr. Ghazi would be more than willing to help.


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