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Caring for Your Child's Teeth

Cavities and How To Prevent Them

Eating Well

*This webpage is for information purposes only. It is NOT a substitute for professional dental advice.*

Print our Sugar and Your Teeth handout

Fast Facts
  • Protect your teeth by choosing foods that are low in sugar.
  • Cheese, vegetables and yogurt are examples of foods that are good for your teeth.

Foods that contain sugar don't necessarily include "SUGAR" on the food label.

Check the food label for:

  • corn sweeteners
  • corn syrup
  • dextrose
  • fructose
  • glucose
  • sucrose
  • molasses
  • honey
  • maple syrup

All of these ingredients are actually forms of sugar and may damage your teeth.

Eating large amounts of sugary foods, such as cookies, chocolate bars, dried fruit, candies or pop can lead to tooth decay. The sugar in the foods we eat reacts with the bacteria in our mouth to form acid. This acid dissolves parts of the tooth causing tooth decay.

Did You Know?
  • Fruit drinks and cocktails are often very high in sugar and low in nutrients and may cause cavities. 100% fruit juice is a better choice.

Try to avoid sticky, sugary foods, as these foods settle on the teeth longer. The more sugary foods you eat and the longer the food stays in your mouth, the more likely you are to develop cavities.

Encourage your child to choose healthy foods, such as:

  • cheese
  • eggs
  • nuts
  • vegetables
  • plain yogurt

Since these foods are low in sugar, they do not cause cavities. They also promote good overall health and good oral health.

Did You Know?
  • Cheese can help protect your teeth from cavities. Brushing your teeth is always the best way to prevent cavities, but if you can't brush, eat a piece of cheese.

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Revised: October 23, 2015

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