Does Sugar Really Cause Cavities?

Everyone grew up hearing about how eating too much candy will rot out all of your teeth, but how true is this story? Ultimately the answer is: Yes, however, it is a bit more complicated than that.

What Are Cavities?

Dental cavities, sometimes referred to as caries in their earliest stage, form when bacteria which live inside your mouth digest debris left over after eating. While sugar leftover in your mouth can promote decay and cavity formation, other foods such as bread, cookies, whole grains, fruits and even vegetables can also be a culprit!

Certain foods such as hard candy, raisins and even dry cereal are more prone to get stuck in the gaps, grooves and crevices of your teeth, making them harder to brush away. Leaving these debris in your mouth allow the bacteria to have a feast, producing acid along the way. Other foods such as fruits, vegetables and even yogurt are much less likely to get stuck in the mouth and wash away more easily with saliva. These kinds of foods are less likely to cause plaque buildup and decay.

Ultimately, the truth is, the bacteria that live inside your mouth enjoy every meal just as much as you do! As you begin to eat, the bacteria in your mouth also begin to digest debris, creating acid, which dissolves the enamel of your teeth. So what exactly can you do to prevent bacteria from creating acid and wreaking havoc in your mouth?

Reduce the Risk of Cavities

When consuming any food or beverage other than water, you are feeding the bacteria that live inside your mouth. To reduce the risk of these bacteria causing decay and cavities, we recommend brushing and flossing teeth regularly, and washing your meals down with water. Using a mouthwash after meals when you can’t brush can help rinse away the debris as well.