Not All Sugarfree and Sugarless Food Good for Teeth
Sugarfree and sugarless foods must always be better for teeth, right? Not necessarily!
Crafty food marketing folks might claim a product is "sugarless" only in so far as it had no refined sugar added while the food was being made. However, such foods may contain natural sweeteners that are easily broken down by our saliva into simple sugar. The cavity creating bacteria that love refined sugar are equally happy to feast on these added flavorings.
Natural sweeteners such as honey, molasses, evaporated sugar cane, barley malt, and rice syrup all are really very slimly disguised sugar products.
Read food labels carefully. If you see an ingredient that ends with the letters "ose", then the product contains a form of sugar. A common example is fructose, as in high fructose corn syrup.
Many food labels list ingredients such as sorbitol, mannitol, isomalt, and my favorite, xylitol. These are known as sugar alcohols, and are often used to sweeten food and candy. (The term sugar alcohol describes their chemical structure, but they do not contain alcohol.) Manufacturers are permitted by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to claim products with these sweeteners do not promote tooth decay.