Sugar leads to cavities; that’s a given. However, not all types of sugars are bad for your teeth. With Thanksgiving right around the corner, consider using teeth-safe sugars. These make great alternative ingredients for that homemade pumpkin pie or cranberry dip. They also receive the nod of approval from our family dentists.
Numerous types of sugars exist. The good news is that at least two are teeth-safe sugars. The bad news is that the sugar found in 95% of foods are of the varieties that do cause decay.
A study published in the Washington Post analyzed 28 natural sugars and seven artificial sweeteners.
Unsurprisingly, the study revealed that the most common sugar varieties, such as table sugar, high-fructose corn syrup, and brown sugar all cause teeth decay. Our oral surgeons warn against any processed foods high in these sugar types.
What about natural sugars, such as those found in honey, milk, and maple syrup? The findings may dismay you, because these also harm your teeth.
The two good sugars are xylitol and erythritol. Xylitol is made from corncobs and birch trees. Not only is it safe for the teeth, but it’s actually healthy since it promotes enamel remineralization.
Erythritol is also safe because bacteria in the mouth cannot metabolize it.
Most health stores carry xylitol and erythritol. If you bake pastries or brew your own sweetened beverage, use either of these as an alternative.
This is the time of year when people consume more sweets than usual due to the holidays. Make an appointment with Mukilteo Dental Arts for a checkup or schedule a whitening procedure with our cosmetic dentists. This year, make a goal to use healthier teeth-safe sugar varieties.
Edited by Justin Vorhees
General family dentistry for Mukilteo, Everett, Lynnwood, Edmonds & Mill Creek