Sugar-free sweets and ‘diet’ soft drinks are just as bad for teeth as their sugar-laden rivals, say dental experts.
The sugar substitutes can also wreak havoc on people’s dental health, according to health researcher Eric Reynolds from the University of Melbourne.
A study headed by Reynolds suggests that while sugar substitutes can reduce the risk of tooth decay, they contain high levels of acid that can strip away tooth enamel.
Based on tests using 15 soft drinks, some of which were sugar-free, the study showed that there was no significant difference between the enamel erosion caused by the sugared and non-sugared drinks.
Fruit-flavoured sweets such as lollies that also contain citric acid, can increase the level of erosion even further.
While sugar-free snacks and drinks may not be great for teeth, cutting down on sugar intake is still beneficial to overall health.
Experts suggest that the most healthy drinks for teeth are milk and tap water, which is favourable to bottle water as it contains flouride.
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