Is Sugar-Free Drinks OK for Teeth?

Is Sugar-Free Drinks OK for Teeth?

Most of us know that drinking soda and other sugary drinks can lead to tooth decay. It sounds logical to assume that sugar-free drinks won’t cause decay because they don’t contain any sugar. But surprisingly, no-sugar-added beverages can still cause enamel erosion and tooth decay, although they truly decrease the risk for tooth erosion than regular beverages.

How Sugar-Free Drinks Hurt Teeth

Sugar-free drinks, sugar-free confectionery, and energy drinks, many of them contain multiple acids and have low pH levels. Even though no-sugar-added drinks contain little to no sugar, they can erode just as much enamel as regular sodas. The reason is that sugar-free drinks contain phosphoric acid (a highly corrosive acid that weakens and erodes enamel), making teeth more susceptible to decay. Many diet drinks also contain some additional ingredients such as artificial sweeteners, citric acid, and tartaric acid, which can soften enamel and damage teeth.
Additionally, over time, sipping diet drinks will start to expose dentin. As a result, your teeth may become more sensitive to hot and cold foods and more susceptible to cavities.

Alternative Drinks Safe for Teeth

Some of us may not be able to completely remove sugary drinks or diet sodas from diet, simply trying to drink fewer of them throughout the day. Next time when you crave a can of soda, consider switching to a beverage with low acid content. Water, plain sparkling water, unsweetened tea, milk, and diluted juice are less erosive than sugary and sugar-free drinks.

Protecting Your Teeth

Here’re some suggestions to protect your teeth from enamel erosion:
  • Drink through a straw. It can help minimize acids’ contact with teeth.
  • Wait to brush teeth. According to Oral Health CRC, brushing teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste plays an essential role in limiting the effect that beverages have on oral health, but wait at least 30 minutes before brushing may be better. It takes 30 minutes to one hour for saliva to neutralize pH in mouth and brushing before this time can just spread harmful acids.
  • Rinse with water. After acidic foods, you can rinse your mouth with water while you’re waiting for your mouth to a neutral pH.
  • Drink milk or eat cheese. You can also drink a bottle of milk or enjoy a little cheese after eating acidic foods. Dairy and other calcium-rich foods are helpful for decay-causing acids neutralization.
Proper dental hygiene technique is more than diligently brushing and flossing. It is also important to be mindful of the acids in foods and drinks. And make sure to visit dentist regularly and be on track for healthy teeth.
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