Downtown Dental

Do you have to eat or drink a lot of sugar in order to get cavities?

A common misconception is that cavities are directly related to the amount of sugar you eat. This is partially true however the more important factor is how many times throughout the day you consume the sugar. Every time you consume sugar (cola, peppermints, etc.), the bacteria “eat” the sugar and produce an acid which causes the cavity to grow. This occurs for about 20 minutes on average until the acid is neutralized by your saliva. It doesn’t matter if you take a few sips of cola or drink an entire two-liter, after 20 minutes, the acid is neutralized by your saliva.

Each time sugar is consumed, the process starts over. From a cavity standpoint, it would be better to drink a six-pack of cola in 20 minutes and be done for the day rather than sip on 1 or 2 cans over the course of a day.

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