Sugar Effect On Your Smile

Sugar Effect On Your Smile


Sugary beverages have become a treat that many Canadians enjoy, but these sugary drinks are not suitable for you for many reasons. We hear if from our family doctors that high blood sugar level fluctuations occur daily for people with diabetes. This makes it essential to control blood sugar levels through diet, exercise, and medication (if necessary) and to recognize the symptoms of elevated blood sugar. We also need to understand that effects of sugar on our oral health may be just as impactful.

Everyone one of us has harmful bacteria in our mouths that eat the sugars we consume. The bacteria get energy from the sugar and in the process, produce acid which can damage teeth and cause tooth decay and may lead to gum disease.

Some of the most popular beverages that Canadians drink have ample amount of sugar. Some drinks that are marketed as “healthy” or “all natural” still contain a significant amount of sugar. If you were considering drinks like fruit juices safe, think again! A box of juice can contain as much sugar as a glass of soda.

According to World Health Organization (WHO): 

“Nutritionally, people don’t need any sugar in their diet. WHO recommends that if people do consume free sugars, they keep their intake below 10% of their total energy needs, and reduce it to less than 5% for additional health benefits. This is equivalent to less than a single serving (at least 250 ml) of commonly consumed sugary drinks per day.”
— Dr Francesco Branca, Director of WHO’s Department of Nutrition for Health and Development.

Sweet VS Healthy choices

Eliminating sugary beverages from your diet would be best, but reducing the number of sugary drinks you have and substituting healthier options with less sugar is a step in the right direction. Here are lists of drinks with lots of sugar and beverages that are better choices.


 All of the better choices have little or no sugar, which means they will not allow the bacteria on your teeth a chance to make acid that can damage your teeth. Water may contain fluoride, which protects teeth against cavities, and the calcium in milk helps keep your teeth healthy. If you are allergic to cow’s milk, try unsweetened milk substitutes (Almond milk, Soy milk).

If you find it hard to resist your morning cup of triple-triple, sweet tea, or a juice, there still some things you can do to protect your teeth.

Consider the following:

  • Drink, don’t sip. Savouring your sugar-filled glass can give the bacteria more time to eat the sugar and cause cavities. Drinking quickly can give your body time to wash away those bacteria. Try to finish your coffee or tea in one sitting instead of sipping on it.

If you are giving your child a juice, have them drink it with food, and put plain water in a sippy cup - kids can carry it throughout the day.

  • Do not be afraid of fluoride - it is your friend. Check if your community’s water is fluoridated, you can drink tap water, and it can improve your oral health. Fluoride is known to protect teeth and known to reduce the number of cavities. If you would like to learn more about fluoride and decay prevention, visit our website to learn more.

  • Make a good habit of brushing your teeth twice a day and floss regularly. You can check out our videos on our blog on how to brush your teeth properly and how to floss properly. Help young children under the age of eight to brush and floss thoroughly, and be sure to visit your dentist regularly. We have an article to help you introduce your child to proper teeth brushing and flossing.

A good start is to know what drinks contain sugar and how much it holds. You just learned that sugar-sweetened beverages could be harmful to your dental health and cause tooth decay. Our team believes that good habits begin at a young age, so help your children make healthier decisions about what they choose to drink. Set a positive example, and your family will have healthier smiles and a healthier future.

CDA - Canadian Dental Association

Stop by at Lakefront Family Dental or call us to book your next dentist appointment.