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Sugar-free Food Products – The Good and Bad

Years ago, the FDA approved xylitol as a suitable product to be used as a sugar replacement in a variety of food items, most namely gums and candies. Once xylitol hit the market, the benefits of the ingredient became very well known. For one, xylitol has fewer calories than sugar, making it healthier for our waistlines; and, at the same time, the sweetener has shown to be beneficial to the health of our teeth.

Xylitol has numerous dental and oral health benefits including the ability to decrease plaque formation, reduce the risk of tooth decay, promote stronger teeth; and the ingredient is even able to prevent dry mouth, which is responsible for an assortment of dental health problems. While xylitol is now widely considered to be beneficial, the overall healthfulness of all sugar-free products is debatable.

Not All Sugar-Free Products Safe for Teeth

A study published in the October 7 Issue of the British Dental Journal found that some xylitol-sweetened products also include acidic flavorings and preservatives, which can be harmful to teeth. Acidic flavorings and preservatives are very common in hard candies and fruit-flavored gum. Both of these ingredients can promote dental erosion which detracts from the benefits of xylitol.

With this in mind, consumers should avoid candies and gums that contain these ingredients. High acidic foods can cause many problems, especially if the acid is left on the teeth for a long period of time or if exposure becomes consistent. This can lead to tooth decay and even tooth loss.

While xylitol is obviously a beneficial ingredient for the health of our teeth and mouths; no product is able to take better care of your smile than a dentist. To protect your teeth, you need to schedule regular check ups. Dr. Dunayer can detect any dental problems; provide you with treatment; and ensure that your smile is healthy both inside and out. To get started with routine appointments, just call or email us today.

By |March 14th, 2012|Uncategorized|
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