Sugar is bad for your teeth. When it stays on your enamel, sugar encourages bacteria to grow in your mouth, which causes acid that gradually wears away your teeth. Stevia is a natural sweetener that comes from a plant native to South America, and it’s touted as a healthier alternative to sugar, high-fructose corn syrup, and artificial sweeteners.
In today’s blog from Parkcrest Dental Group, we answer the question, “Is stevia good for your teeth?”
Related Post: How to Break Your Family’s Sugar Habit
In Short, Yes
The short answer is yes. Stevia is good for your teeth compared to foods with ordinary sugar. We back up our assertions with scientific evidence found in studies done with regular sugar and stevia.
Stevia is considered non-acidogenic because it doesn’t lower your mouth’s pH as much as sucrose (table sugar). A study in 2014 found that a sucrose rinse produced significantly lower pH, which means greater acidity, in your mouth after 30 minutes compared to stevia extracts, and there were markedly more Streptococcus bacteria in people’s mouths who used the sugar-based rinse.
So, this study indicates stevia doesn’t cause as much acid build-up in your teeth. That’s good because bacteria thrive in an acidic environment, and acid causes your enamel to gradually wear away. Although we can help you with tooth decay, Parkcrest Dental Group would rather you keep your teeth as strong and healthy as you can.
Related Post: What Does Ice Cream Do to Your Teeth?
Less Plaque-Causing Build-Up
A 2010 study measured the accumulation of dental plaque, that slimy film you feel on your teeth when you don’t brush, after rinsing with a sucrose or stevia solution. Researchers found that after rinsing with stevia, there was 82 percent less plaque build-up compared to sucrose and 40 percent less plaque build-up overall.
Plaque can lead to tooth decay and a host of other problems in your mouth. Parkcrest Dental Group recommends a regular oral hygiene regimen to prevent plaque build-up and tooth decay. Stevia can be one part of that routine if you still crave sweet snacks.
Don’t Overdo It
As with anything, don’t overdo foods that contain stevia. Just because a food contains stevia, it doesn’t mean it’s a “healthy” food. You have to discern whether the food is good or bad for you on the whole. However, we agree with the science: Stevia is better for your teeth than ordinary sugar.
Related Post: General Dentistry Tips: Worst Drinks for Teeth
Oral Hygiene Tips by Parkcrest Dental Group
The staff at Parkcrest Dental Group wants you and your family to have the best oral hygiene you can. Your dental care regimen includes regular brushing and flossing, as well as visits to the dentist every six months. Contact Parkcrest Dental Group online or call (417) 887-1220 for more information.