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The Problem with Sugar-Free Beverages

Sugar and tooth decay are inseparable. Most people are probably aware of the effect that too much sugar has on your teeth, especially if you don't exercise good oral hygiene. That may explain why "sugar-free" beverages are storming the market nowadays. However, that sugar-free label may just be another marketing scheme that covers up the real truth about beverages and their sugar content.

A recent study by the Oral Health cooperative in Australia found out that various types of sugar-free drinks are still as equally damaging to your teeth as their sugary counterparts, despite low sugar levels. Perhaps the acidity levels of these beverages are to blame.

A Misunderstanding on Acid and Its Effects

Sugar has long been considered a culprit for tooth decay, but little is known about the link between similar dental damage and acidity. Many people think that a sugar-free guarantee is enough to protect their pearly whites from possible damage, but are unaware of the fact  that they are navigating through another type of danger. Sugar is strongly linked to tooth decay because it is the main ingredient for plaque buildup which leads to dental care in the long run, but high acidity levels can be just as dangerous

However the information about sugary drinks is incomplete and completely discriminates other beverages from the slow-down list. The truth is that sugar and acidity are closely related to each other. When bacteria consumes sugar, it not only eats it, but creates an acidic byproduct, which  weakens healthy dental structure..

Devastating the Tooth Enamel

Sugar-free beverages are still sweet and there's no way you can tell that they're sugar-free at all. With sugar alternatives such as xylitol and sorbitol, you can still taste the same old sweetness minus the sugar amount but with a price you don’t even realize you pay whenever you consume them.

Oral Health CRC stated in their study that these chemicals are causing the tooth enamel to erode. Because of the high acidity levels found in some beverages--soft drinks and energy drinks, in particular--tooth enamel starts to soften over time, to about a thirty percent of its previous strength.. When enamel is affected. several complications may ensue, such as heightened sensitivity to dental care.

Problems on Product Testing and Labeling

Many products labeled as "tooth friendly" are actually damaging to one's teeth. Even certain fruit juices are just as corrosive as battery acid and can erode your enamel by 84%, increasing the tooth's roughness. In addition to diet soft drinks, “enamel eroding” acid can also be found in citrus drinks such as orange juice. Regulating your  sweetened orange juice intake is advisable.

Protecting your Teeth

There are two ways to protect your teeth enamel:

  1. Stick to less acidic and ‘tooth friendly’ beverages such as coffee, tea, and milk. Coffee and tea may cause teeth discoloration but a proper brushing and dental maintenance will decrease the discoloration effect of these beverages. Milk and water are the best types of tooth friendly drinks. They increase your mouth's ability to produce saliva and maintain a natural pH level in your oral ecosystem. Go easy with acidic beverages such as fruit juices and if possible, eliminate all kinds of sodas altogether.

  1. Regular dental visits are a staple in successful oral hygiene plans. Your dentist keeps track of your teeth and will always provide you with more information about how you should take care of your pearly whites. Aside from daily dental routines, a dental professional can also prescribe dental procedures that may improve the look and feel of your teeth.