Humans have a drive for the taste of sweet which must be addressed by dentistry. Asking patients to avoid or fear sugar is not a workable solution. This course will take a look at plant-based sugars, identifying the problems with sucrose and fructose, and examining the qualities of exotics like yacon and monk fruit, as well as sweetener alternatives, like xylitol and erytritol.
At the conclusion of this educational activity, participants will be able to:
1. Examine current science on fructose, polyols (natural sugar analogs), plant extracts, and their advantages and disadvantages
2. Categorize safe versus unsafe sweeteners
3. Discuss how different sugars act systemically as well as their effects on oral biofilm maturation
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