Sugar, Cavities and Kids

Does sugar really cause cavities? Discover the truth about how eating sugar affects whether or not your kids get cavities and the importance of dental health.

Ever had one of your parents tell you that you can’t have anything sugary because it’ll give you cavities? Did you wonder if that was true or just an excuse you were given to stop you from eating more sweets? Well, as it turns out that isn't entirely true. Let us help explain the connection between sugar and cavities.

What is a cavity?

A cavity (dental caries) is a hole in a tooth where the enamel on a tooth has broken down due to decay. This decay is caused when plaque gradually builds up on the tooth and left for long periods of time. That plaque can cause decay which in turn can result in a cavity. When cavities are left untreated they can create a hole through the tooth which will expose the nerve endings and this is what can cause pain. The severity of the cavity will ultimately decide whether one needs a r a root canal or even whether the tooth needs to be pulled out all together.

Does Sugar cause cavities?

The short answer is no, in fact sugar itself does not cause cavities but instead cavities are caused by bacteria.  The bacteria is created by sugar digestion and when that goes untreated can lead to not only cavities but also gum disease and possible loss of a tooth (teeth). As food is consumed our bodies naturally create acids which help break down the food to aid in digestion. These acids actually demineralize our teeth. We remineralize our teeth by brushing them, drinking fluorinated water and even through our own saliva. To summarize all of this it is fine to give in to your sweet tooth as long as proper care is being taken to protect your pearly whites.

How do I prevent cavities?

Good oral hygiene is important for your teeth and overall mouth health. To maintain good oral health care we recommend brushing your teeth twice a day, replace your toothbrush regularly, use mouthwash and flossing daily as well. It is never a bad idea to make sure you are visiting your dentist 1-2 times a year for cleanings and checkups.

While encouraging children to reduce candy intake can help prevent cavities but  it also promotes other health benefits as well. Establishing positive dental health practices in kids is a great way to help avoid future health concerns, including heart issues, diabetes and other diet related problems that occur. A well-rounded understanding of your health is going to positively impact all aspects of your body from your head to your toes!


Come See Us!!

At Swish Dental we are always here to promote you and your smile. From General Dentistry, Family Dentistry, Cosmetic Dentistry, to Invisalign and Sleep Apnea Treatment, making you smile is what makes us smile. We’d love to walk with you on your dental journey today!

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Last Modified:
August 23, 2023