SUGAR AND ACID

Foods

Eating sugary, sticky food increases your risk of tooth decay. This is because the bacteria in dental plaque feed on the sugar in your mouth to produce acid that attacks tooth enamel. This interactive presentation explains the effects of sugar on your body.

Be aware that food that is high in carbohydrates, like pasta, breaks down to sugar. And watch out for food that can stick to your teeth, like bread. For more information, see Simple tips to make better food choices for your teeth (PDF) .

Sugar can appear in many forms, and with various names. Here’s a list of many of the alternate names for sugar to help you identify it on ingredient statements:

Agave nectar
Corn sweetener
Galactose
Muscovado sugar
Anhydrous dextrose
Corn syrup
Glucose
Palm sugar
Barbados sugar
Corn syrup solids
Glucose solids
Panela sugar
Barley malt
Crystalline fructose
Golden sugar
Panocha
Barley malt syrup
D-ribose
Golden syrup
Powdered sugar
Beet sugar
Date sugar
Grape sugar
Raw sugar
Blackstrap molasses
Dehydrated cane juice
HFCS (High-Fructose Corn Syrup)
Refiner's syrup
Brown rice syrup
Demerara sugar
Honey
Rice syrup
Brown sugar
Dextrin
Icing sugar
Sorghum syrup
Buttered syrup
Dextrose
Invert sugar
Sucanat
Cane juice
Diastatic malt
Lactose
Sucrose
Cane juice crystals
Diglycerides
Liquid fructose
Sugar (granulated)
Cane sugar
Ethyl maltol
Malt syrup
Sweet Sorghum
Caramel
Evaporated cane juice
Maltodextrin
Syrup
Carob syrup
Florida crystals
Maltol
Treacle
Castor sugar
Free-flowing brown sugars
Maltose
Turbinado sugar
Coconut palm sugar
Fructose
Mannose
Yellow sugar
Coconut sugar
Fruit juice
Maple syrup
Confectioner's sugar
Fruit juice concentrate
Molasses

Drinks

Soft drinks, sports drinks, energy drinks, alcohol and even fruit juice contain high amounts of sugar and acid that can damage your teeth. Each sip causes an acid attack that lasts 20 minutes, causing damage to your tooth enamel, which can lead to cavities and increased tooth sensitivity. Energy drinks contain high amounts of acid but even sugar-free drinks contain acid, including plain carbonated water.

Get tips to reduce the effects of sugary and acidic drinks on your oral health.

More information