Sugar-Free Doesn’t Mean Carefree

healthy smileNow that February is here it is officially a new year in Haworth, NJ and dental implant provider Dr. Michael Migdal, as well as the rest of his staff at Gentle Dentistry, can’t wait to start this year off on the right foot. One of the ways we plan on doing this is to continue giving people the smiles of their dreams with the help of Invisalign clear braces. Another way we plan on continuing the year on that positive note is to keep teaching people how to properly care for their teeth in any way we can.

That being said, today we have decided to write a cautionary post. It appears that recent studies are showing some of the snack foods you may have once thought were healthy for your teeth actually are not. Here’s why.

Eating Sugar-Free Doesn’t Mean Eating Care Free

Cutting extra and added sugar from your diet can benefit not only your oral health but your overall health in numerous ways. You may already know this, but medical science has shown us that bacteria produces an acid that helps it break down sugar. Unfortunately, that same acid also wears your tooth enamel down. When enough enamel is worn away, a cavity forms and this is how tooth decay works.

However, despite your health conscious efforts, turning to sugar-free products may actually be doing more damage than help. According to some impressive research performed at the University of Melbourne’s Oral Health Cooperative Research Centre, it appears that sugar-free drinks such as diet Coke and Pepsi can weaken your enamel by a shocking thirty to fifty percent. Yikes!

How Can This Be?

Well, science. That’s how. We’re not just making this stuff up, and trust us when we say that quite a few people in the office here wish we were. These shocking results come from testing over twenty-three different kinds of drinks. The subjects included both soda and sports drinks. The tests on these beverages with highly acidic additives coupled with low PH levels can and will damage enamel regardless of whether or not they contain sugar.

“Many people are not aware that while reducing your sugar intake does reduce your risk of dental decay, the chemical mix of acids in some foods and drinks can cause the equally damaging condition of dental erosion,” professor Eric Reynolds, one of the study authors and the CEO of the Oral Health Cooperative Research Centre, states.

This chemical mix of acids often includes citric and phosphoric acid. According to scientists, these very same acids, though not made of sugar, are often the culprit behind enamel softening in people who drink sugar-free beverages.

The above information does only apply to drinks either. Unfortunately, the same acids found in sugar-free drinks are also found in sugar-free snack and candy. The researchers in this study also tested thirty-two different types of sugar-free candies that are available in almost any marketplace. The results they came up with were rather interesting. It appears that fruit flavored snacks cause more damage than ones flavored with mint.

What’s even more interesting in the fact that many of these products have messages stating they are healthy or tooth friendly. Just goes to show that you can’t believe everything you read. Our suggesting is to simply try and cut back on sweets altogether if you are looking to improve or maintain oral health in 2016.

Until next time readers, keep smiling.