Are you trying to take steps to avoid causing damage to your teeth and lowering your sugar intake? If so, you may be replacing these sugars with a sugar substitute. Are these sugar substitutes any better for your teeth though? Here is what you need to know about the impact that they can have on your teeth.
Know The Difference Between Sugar Substitutes
If you are looking at the overall effect of using a sugar substitute and how it impacts the health of your teeth, know that they are better for you than consuming sugar. Substitutes are going to decrease the number of bacteria in your mouth that cause cavities, which results in a healthier mouth. However, there are a variety of sugar substitutes out there.
There are actually two types of sugar substitutes out there that you need to be aware of. There are artificial sweeteners, such as aspartame, stevia, sucralose, and saccharin. Then there are sugar alcohols, such as xylitol, mannitol, and sorbitol. Artificial sweeteners don't have any calories, while sugar alcohols actually contain a small amount. The small number of calories that they contain should not be a reason to be concerned though, since both are better than consuming sugar when it comes to your oral health.
Know What Happens When Consuming Too Many Sugar Substitutes
The biggest problem that you may notice when consuming sugar alcohols is that they can act as a laxative. If you end up consuming a lot of it in a single day, you may notice that you are going to the bathroom a lot more. Your stomach is going to notice the difference and react appropriately. That's why it is not best to completely switch over to a sugar substitute for baking purposes and only consume it in small amounts that are tolerable.
Know Products That Contain Xylitol
You'll find that xylitol is used in a lot of products that are used to improve your dental health. You'll find it in toothpaste and mouth rinses to help give it a sweet flavor. Xylitol is also commonly used in chewing gum, and switching to sugar-free gum can have an impact on your oral health. Not only does it prevent sugar from entering your mouth, but chewing gum helps your mouth produce more saliva that washes the plaque off your teeth after having a meal.
Talk to your dentist for more information about the impact of artificial sweeteners on your oral health.