How Does Sugar Affect Children’s Teeth?


Do you have a sweet tooth? It is likely your little ones do too. Kids are no exception when it comes to sweet cravings. Fruit juices, chocolate milk, breakfast cereals, animal crackers, hard candies, and other foods that are commonly and frequently given to kids are sweet. Naturally and like adults, our children will find them delicious and appealing.

Sweets can be bad for kids teeth

While enjoying sweet treats, it’s important to understand that they can also be harmful — particularly to your teeth. Sweets contain sugar in a variety of forms, and according to researchers from the University College London and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, sugar is the only cause of tooth decay in children and adults alike.

If you’re a parent, this finding is especially important to keep in mind because you are still teaching your kids the right dental care habits that will help lay down a good oral health foundation for them, from their childhood through to their adulthood.

How does sugar affect children’s teeth?

Bacteria can be found in a person’s mouth. When a child eats or drinks something with lots of sugar, and then fails to properly brush his teeth and gums and clean his mouth afterwards, the bacteria will use the sugar as food. These organisms can also transform the sugar into a kind of glue that will help them stick to the surface of the tooth.

The result? As they feed on sugar, the bacteria will quickly multiply, produce acid, and form plaque. The acids will then dissolve the minerals that make the enamel, the outer layer protecting teeth, strong. The enamel then becomes porous, which means tiny holes begin to form on the enamel. These holes become bigger and bigger, and this is essentially the cavity that develops on teeth.

For children who tend to consume large amounts of sugar from their food and drinks, observing proper dental hygiene becomes even more crucial. When the sugar from the milk, juice, candies and other sweets that a child consumes stays in their mouth for prolonged periods, cavities may develop early and affect their dental health as they grow.

Teaching kids to brush their teeth after every meal, floss, drink plenty of water, eat more nutritious foods, and pay regular visits to the dentist can help them avoid tooth decay and save them from experiencing all the pain, discomfort and hassles that come with cavities and other dental problems. In addition, parents like you should take time to teach kids about the harmful effects of sugar and ways to minimise its presence in their diet for better dental as well as overall health.

If you think your child may be developing cavities because of a high sugar diet, be sure to schedule a cleaning with your Pediatric Dentist. Surfside kids dental has four locations to serve patients in Northern California.

Surfs up dude’s!

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