Sugar-free treats may actually harm children's teeth since they are acidic in nature, warns a consumer group.
"People look at products that have 'sugar-free' on the label and think they are good for your teeth. What they don't realise is these products in some cases are just as bad," the Sydney Morning Herald quoted Choice's spokesman, Brad Schmitt, as saying.
Many popular snacks such as Kellogg's Nutri-Grain bars and Golden Circle orange juice were found to be high in both acid and sugar, according to the group's survey of 85 different processed foods and drinks.
"Kids love their muesli bars and fruit snacks but parents should limit them to be a once-a-week treat," Schmitt said.
Sugar and acids both act on the enamel of the teeth and cause slow erosion, but sugar is considered much worse since bacteria thrive on it.
Saliva helps "re-mineralise" teeth that have been damaged by sugar and acid.
"That means if you only have exposure now and then the natural balance will work out," said Neil Hewson, president of the Australian Dental Association. (ANI)