We’ve all asked ourselves some variation of this question. Do sugar-free alternatives have the same negative effect on our teeth as regular ones? The short answer is yes. Sugar-free alternatives have the potential to be just as bad for your teeth. It is worth keeping in mind that while sugar is a leading cause of dental cavities and tooth decay, it is by no means the only one.
Before we understand why sugar-free alternatives can contribute to tooth decay, we need to understand the effects of regular sugar on teeth.
Why sugar is bad for your teeth
The primary reason for cavities and tooth decay is the acid caused by bacteria in your mouth. When sugar is consumed, it reacts with the bacteria present in teeth to produce acid. This acid causes the breakdown of the tooth’s enamel which will lead to cavities. If left unchecked, the cavities will eventually develop into tooth decay, and you’ll need to take your child to a pediatric dentist to get it treated.
The effect of sugar-free food and drinks on your teeth
While sugar might no longer be present, depending on the substitutes used, it can be just as damaging to your teeth. When people say sugar-free, it usually means that the sugar has been replaced with a substitute like sucrose, agave, aspartame, neotame, saccharin, sorbitol, sucralose, or xylitol. Most of these alternatives are not damaging to your teeth by themselves. However, when mixed with preservatives and other chemicals, they can increase the acidity levels of your mouth. This left unchecked will also lead to tooth decay.
Not all sugar-free substitutes are bad for your teeth. Sugar-free gum can be beneficial as it increases saliva production and helps clean your teeth. However, sugar-free substitutes in soft drinks, energy drinks, and sports drinks contain a lot of chemicals that increase the acidity levels of your mouth. Talk with your kids dentist to see what they recommend for your children.
So, what can we do about it?
The obvious solution is to reduce the amount of sugar consumed. Other than the dental issues caused, excessive consumption of sugar is also responsible for a lot of other health issues including diabetes, weight gain, blood pressure, and more. Children are especially at risk for developing dental caries due to sugar consumption. According to the pediatric dentist, there are several steps we can take to reduce the damage that sugar can have on our teeth.
- Good dental hygiene habits
- Brush twice a day and floss regularly to get rid of plaque buildup
- Avoid sugary drinks and drinks that have soda
- Take your kids to a pediatric dentist for regular teeth cleaning
Taking care of your kid’s teeth can be a challenge and no matter where you look, it seems like everything is bad for your teeth. However, good dental hygiene and regular checkups with a kids dentist will help alleviate a lot of these potential risks. So, book an appointment with the best pediatric dentist in Dubai today!