This is the season for celebration, gathering with family and friends, and enjoying an abundance of holiday treats. We understand that the last thing on your mind this time of year is dental care, but we would like to provide you with a few tips, especially when it comes to sugar free soft drinks and sugar free candy.
While your intention might be to avoid too much sugar during the holiday festivities, going sugar free can still do damage to your teeth. A recent study done in Australia found that sugar free products with acidic additives and low pH levels harm teeth. Apparently, the chemical mix of acids in some foods and drinks may be equally damaging as sugar containing products. Acids can lead to dental erosion.
Dental erosion occurs when acid dissolves the tooth’s hard tissues. Erosion strips away the surface layers and tooth enamel, and if left unchecked can expose the soft pulp inside the tooth.
Of the eight sports drinks tested, six caused loss of tooth enamel. The researchers found that many sugar free candies contain high levels of citric acid and can erode tooth enamel.
Our recommendation is to enjoy the holiday season and just take some simple precautions. Check product labels for acidic additives, especially citric and phosphoric acids. Drink more water and fewer soft drinks. After consuming acidic food and drinks, rinse your mouth with water and remember to brush with a fluoride toothpaste when you get home.
Above all, have a happy, healthy and safe New Year!
Happy Holidays from Dr. Jim and the Mitchell Dentistry family