Associates of Dental Arts
Dr. Gregory Kivett

Drink Water and Save Your Teeth

Regular cleanings and check-ups with your dentist while brushing twice daily and flossing once daily will go a long way in reducing cavities but even this is sometimes not enough to stop cavities. Cutting out added sugars is another step that can help reduce costly and painful cavities. To help cut our added sugars, check the label on your foods. The higher up sugar is on the ingredients, the higher the concentration of added sugar and the worse the food is for your teeth. Don’t like to take time reading labels? Then just follow this one easy tip, only drink water and you will probably cut out a large percentage of your added sugars.

A Sugar by Any Other Name

Cutting out added sugar sounds easy, but with all the different sugar based sweeteners the ingredients on your food may not even have sugar in the name. Here are some common names for sugar to look out for on food labels:

  • sugar
  • brown sugar
  • cane sugar
  • confectioners' or powdered sugar
  • turbinado sugar
  • raw sugar 
  • corn sweeteners 
  • corn syrup 
  • crystallized cane sugar
  • maltose
  • fructose
  • sucrose
  • glucose 
  • dextrin 
  • evaporated cane juice
  • fruit juice concentrate
  • honey
  • high fructose corn syrup
  • invert sugar
  • syrup
  • malt syrup
  • maple syrup
  • molasses

Better Teeth May Be Just A Glass Away

If you are not into reading labels, you can try limiting some of the main culprits in added sugars in people diets. If you only drink water, you will cut out almost half of the added sugars in an average person’s diet. As an added bonus, drinking water increases hydration which limits another contributor to cavities, dry mouth. Here is the list of the main sugar culprits and their percentages.

  • soft drinks, energy drinks, sports drinks, 35.7%
  • grain-based desserts (cakes, pies) 12.9%
  • fruit drinks 10.5%
  • dairy-based desserts (ice cream) 6.5%
  • candy 6.1%
  • ready-to-eat cereals 3.8%
  • sugars and honey 3.5%
  • tea (sweetened) 3.5%
  • yeast breads 2.1%
  • all other foods 15.4%

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