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15Apr2015

How Much Sugar Is Your Child Really Eating?

MODERN DENTISTRY, fluoride treatments, and preventive care alone can’t stop tooth decay when kids’ diets are filled with sugar! Learn more about how to watch your child’s sugar intake and protect their teeth from decay.

Sugary Foods Cling To Teeth And Cause Cavities

When sugar clings to teeth, bacteria feeds off of those sugars, producing an acid byproduct that wears away tooth enamel.

Studies repeatedly find that as sugar consumption increases, so do cavities. The World Health Organization’s 2014 study found that in one population, when daily caloric intake of sugar increased from 0% to 5%, the amount of tooth decay doubled.

Cut Sugar Intake In Half

After the study, The World Health Organization cut their recommendations for sugar consumption in half, from 10% of our daily caloric intake, to 5% (and ideally, less). Currently, the average American gets 12-15% of his or her daily calories from sugar—and America isn’t even the highest consumer of sugar worldwide!

Beware Of Hidden Sugars


How do you help your child cut back on sugar? In addition to cutting back on sweets, it’s important to be aware of hidden sugars in our diets. Even a “nutritional” food can be packed with sugar! On our food labels, sugar goes by numerous aliases, including:

  • Molasses & Maltose
  • Corn syrup, Malt & Dextrose
  • Sorghum syrup

This list is only a sampling. Keep an eye out for anything ending in “-ose,” “sugar,” or “syrup,” and educate yourself on more alternate names here.

3 More Tips For Cutting Back On Sugar

  1. Read labels, and check for hidden sugars.
  2. Cook more at home so you know exactly what’s going into your child’s food.
  3. Cut back on soft drinks, fruit juices, granola bars, yogurt, and sugary cereal in addition to regular sweets.

A Healthier Diet = A Healthier Mouth

You don’t need to cut out sugar entirely in order to protect your child’s healthy teeth. That’s why brushing, flossing, and regular dental visits are so important! Let us know if you ever have any questions about your child’s oral health. We’re passionate about helping your family have a healthier, happier lifestyle!

Thanks for being our valued patients and friends!

Top image by Flickr user andy carter used under Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike 4.0 license. Image cropped and modified from original.

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