Why is Sugar Bad For Teeth?

family dentist in Lititz, PA

Dentists have been warning us about the dangers of sugar to our teeth for almost as long as there have been dentists, but in this era of information overload, it seems like health information is always changing. One day experts are telling you something is bad for you and the next it’s good, so could that be the case for sugar and our teeth, too? Gotwalt Distinguished Dental Care of Lititz, PA hates to disappoint you but sugar really is as bad for your teeth as you’ve been told.

Sugar Damages Your Teeth

There’s a perfectly good reason dentists warn against eating a lot of sugar: it eats away at your teeth. Everything we eat and drink leaves a residue on our teeth, made up of saliva and food particles. This residue, known to dentists as plaque, builds up on our teeth throughout the day and even as we sleep. The most effective way to remove plaque is by brushing your teeth twice daily and flossing between teeth every day. If not removed, this plaque will become host to countless bacteria which will devour it and keep eating into your enamel. This is the process by which tooth decay forms cavities in our teeth.

Sugary and starchy foods are the favorite foods of oral bacteria. They are always at work but eating a diet high in sugar just makes them reproduce and eat faster. Although sugar itself is not the cause of tooth decay, it instigates it by feeding the bacteria on your teeth that weaken your enamel and create cavities.

Sugar is Hiding in Most Food

Almost every food we eat contains sugar, and many drinks include sugar as well. Even healthy foods like fruits and vegetables naturally have sugar so changing your diet to exclude all sugar just isn’t realistic and wouldn’t be a fun way to live. 

 Regardless of whether it comes from healthy foods or “junk food”, sugar can still lead to tooth decay. However, the primary cause of tooth decay among Americans today is the sugar hiding in the widely available processed foods and popular soft drinks. 

How to Help Your Teeth

We know that completely eliminating sugar from your diet is impractical — even dentists eat foods containing sugar! However, changing the source of your sugar is a great first step. Choosing fruits and vegetables over processed snacks will greatly reduce the amount of residual sugar in your mouth, and it’s better for your overall health.

Brushing and flossing as recommended by your dentist is the best way to remove plaque from the teeth. This is done by brushing your teeth twice a day, flossing once a day, and keeping regular appointments with Gotwalt Distinguished Family Care. To keep plaque and tooth decay under control in your mouth, schedule a consultation with Dr. John or Sara Gotwalt today by calling 717-220-4651 or contact us online.


Drs. Sara & John Gotwalt
Lititz, PA Dentist
2320 Rothsville Road, Suite 300
Lititz, PA 17543


New Patients 717-627-6980


Monday – 8:00AM – 5:00 PM
Tuesday – 8:00AM – 5:00 PM
Wednesday – 8:00AM – 5:00 PM
Thursday – 8:00AM – 5:00 PM

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