You may have wondered about the effects of artificial sweeteners on your teeth or whether some sweeteners are better for your smile than others. At Fox Kids Dentistry & Orthodontics, we’re happy to help address these and any other questions related to dental health.
Let’s start by examining what artificial sweeteners are. The white substance we call sugar is an extract from sugar beets or sugar cane. Artificial sweeteners are chemically synthesized food additives that are put in foods to make them taste sweet. They’re also sold alone so you can add them to baking, coffee and other foods.
Do Artificial Sweeteners Ruin Your Teeth?
Sugar is broken down in your mouth into acids. This is a natural reaction that is caused by the healthy bacteria that lives in your mouth. Once acids are produced, they combine with food, bacteria and saliva and create plaque. This substance coats your teeth and weakens your tooth enamel. Eventually, the enamel is worn enough that cavities form.
In contrast to sugar, artificial sweeteners don’t have this effect. In fact, they may help reduce the acidity in your mouth, which can reduce your risk of cavities. Artificial sweeteners also have fewer calories than sugar.
Despite these benefits, there are drawbacks to artificial sweeteners. They don’t have nutritional value, so eating a lot of products with these additives doesn’t add vitamins and other nutrients you need for a healthy body and healthy teeth.
In addition, sugar isn’t the only culprit when it comes to tooth decay. Even if you switch to artificial sweeteners, good dental hygiene and regular checkups and cleanings are still essential.
Is Stevia Bad for Your Teeth?
Stevia is made from a plant, and many people have turned to this replacement sweetener. The good news is that stevia isn’t a fermentable carbohydrate so it won’t react with bacteria in your mouth to create plaque.
If you’re looking for the best sweetener for teeth, it really comes down to your preferences. Switching from sugar to an artificial sweetener is one option, and you might want to look for the sweetener that tastes best.
Schedule an Appointment Today
Switching sweeteners alone isn’t enough to prevent cavities. To help your child avoid cavities, schedule an appointment with Fox Kids Dentistry & Orthodontics. We provide a caring atmosphere for children of all ages, and we can help you develop a plan to create habits for a lifetime of healthy smiles.