Hidden sugars and effect on teeth


We all know foods like cakes, cookies, lollies and chocolate are full of sugar. But did you know many processed foods and drinks labelled as “healthy” often have high levels of sugar in them?

When checking food labels, it’s important to know ingredients are listed in decreasing order by weight. So if sugar is near the top of the list, the product may not be a good choice. There are many names for sugar, so don’t be fooled by clever marketing and have a closer look at your snack’s composition.

Sugar and your teeth

Bacteria found in plaque feed on the sugars in the food we eat. When bacteria eat the sugar from your food they make acid. Dental decay is caused by these acids damaging the tooth surface. The more often you consume sugar, the more frequently your teeth will be under attack.

Healthy snack options

  • Cheese
  • Fruits and vegetables
  • Yoghurt (but be careful! Flavoured yoghurts can be very high in sugar)
  • Nuts
  • Sugarless gum

Important tips to remember

  • Good oral hygiene is the key to reducing the amount of plaque on your teeth and therefore reducing acid attack when you eat sugar.
  • Reduce the frequency sugar contacts your teeth throughout the day.
  • Make sure you rinse your mouth with water after you have consumed food or drink that contains sugar.
  • Remember to eat a nutritious and balanced diet full of dairy, wholegrains, protein, fruits and vegetables.