Sugar and Acid


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).


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.

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