What to watch out for: sugar in your child’s toothpaste

SWEET LIKE SUGAR. BUT IS IT SUGAR REALLY?

Modern commercially available toothpastes are made without sugar sweeteners for obvious reasons. The link between sugar and cavity development is well established. However, the ingredients in toothpaste, while beneficial to tooth health, are far from pleasant tasting without a little help. Consequently, toothpaste manufacturers still sweeten and flavour their products to make them easier to use on a daily basis.

Manufacturers use a variety of non-nutritive sweeteners to make toothpaste more palatable. Not all non-nutritive sweeteners are created equal, however. While you might look to see if there’s fluoride in a toothpaste, more people than not skip over the sweetening ingredients without much thought. It’s worth taking a minute to see what’s sweetening your toothpaste to see if you could be getting a bigger benefit from your toothpaste. Grab your tube and read on to find out what you’re using daily.

SWEET THAT WAS ONCE SCARY! 

Sodium saccharin is a chemical derived from coal tar. It is one of five artificial sweeteners approved by the US Food and Drug Administration. You may remember there was concern about saccharin’s safety, but early studies that linked it to cancer in rats were re-examined and found not to translate to cancer risk in humans.

Sodium saccharin is extremely sweet, so small amounts are able to make toothpaste palatable–better tasting.  Still, sodium saccharin is not linked to any benefits for oral health, so it’s only function in a toothpaste is to improve flavour.

SWEET, OR NOT SO MUCH?

Sorbitol is classified as a sugar alcohol, a type of substance that contains neither sugar or alcohol. Sorbitol occurs in small amounts in certain fruits, particularly apples and peaches. However, the sorbitol in commercial products almost always is made from corn syrup.

Sorbitol is less sweet than table sugar, and it’s often used in combination with another sweetener in toothpastes. The bacteria most commonly studied for tooth decay, can use sorbitol for energy, as can your body, so it’s not considered a non-nutritive sweetener like most sugar alcohols. It is known to have a laxative effect in larger amounts than used for brushing teeth. Sorbitol also has no benefit for tooth health and is used exclusively to improve the taste of toothpastes.

SWEET, JUST  LIKE TABLE SUGAR!

Xylitol is a sweetener that occurs in certain fruits and vegetables, especially corn and birch trees. It also is a non-nutritive sweetener, meaning it does not get used by the body for energy and generally does not raise blood sugar levels.

Xylitol is about as sweet as regular table sugar. Xylitol has been shown in numerous studies to help prevent the formation of dental caries. The bacteria associated with caries disease cannot use xylitol for energy, and xylitol can help correct dry mouth, increasing saliva for additional tooth health benefits.

When choosing a toothpaste, a toothpaste sweetened with xylitol offers additional benefits beyond one sweetened with sodium saccharin or sorbitol. If you’re paying for all the ingredients in your toothpaste, why not insist that as many of them as possible are providing you with additional benefits?

MKB Team
MomsKnowBest is a fast-growing vibrant community of moms, for moms, by moms. Motherhood is complex fun, fulfilling, grueling, exhausting and very complex. There’s no handbook to it. And let’s face it – moms are put under just too much pressure. Fortunately, you don’t have to go through it alone. We’re here to help you and be your friend and guide through it all. At MomsKnowBest you’ll find a wide variety of resources spanning from parenting hacks, nutrition for kids, fitness tips, shopping lists, must-haves, tips and tricks for busy moms, support articles and much more. Everything here is curated and approved by moms, so you know you’re getting all the helpful stuff. We’re here to empower each other, grow together and have some fun along the way. Are you in?

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Discover

Latest

Top 10 Baby Names for Boys and Girls

 And then we were three!  Arriving Jan 2021! Social media is buzzing...

7 Kid-friendly Holiday Ideas in India

Wondering which are the best places to travel with your kids? Stress not, MomsKnowBest is herewith a list of exciting destinations...

8 Apps to ease your Motherhood Woes

Are you ready to find some new best friends? Here's a list of all the apps that will help you with almost...

Top Fertility apps to get you a step closer to motherhood!

Getting pregnant is a task in its own, but not if you have the right resources at your disposal.

How to adapt to the concept of Positive Parenting?

The world is constantly changing so is the idea of parenting. Let’s explore the idea of positive parenting which might help in...