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you are > Dental Health Articles > Sugar-free sweeteners - a good alternative to sugar

Sugar-free sweeteners - a good alternative to sugar?
Updated: 1/18/2012 6:59:57 PM

Sugar-free sweeteners - a good alternative to sugar?  

When people eat or drink substances that contain sugar, the sugar helps bacteria - which are present in the mouth - stick to the teeth. According to the American Dental Association (ADA), the more time sugars spend on a person's teeth, the greater the likelihood that they will cause damage and lead to tooth decay.

The past few decades, there has been a major increase in sugar substitutes on the market. Some of these artificial sweeteners come with claims that they do not cause tooth decay and may improve your oral health. Recently, the Richmond-Times Dispatch ran an article explaining some of the sugar-free options out there today .

First, the news source discussed saccharin, which is sold under the brand name as Sweet n' Low. While the safety of this substance was called into question in the 1970s, it has since been deemed safe for people to consume. It is 300 times sweeter than sugar, yet has less calories.

Next, the Dispatch talked about sugar alcohols.

"Sugar alcohols have about half the calories of sucrose and are found in some fruits and berries. You'll recognize them as mannitol, sorbitol and xylitol.Sugar alcohols don't cause dental cavities, and have less effect on blood sugar than sucrose," according to the news source.

The ADA states in order to determine which sugar-free snacks are truly safe for teeth,  consumers should look for the ADA seal on the package.

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