Close-up Image of bubbles in soda

Sodas Cause Dental Cavities
Courtesy of

Everyone Knows Sugar Causes Dental Cavities, But Did You Know How Much Sugar Is In YOUR Favorite Drink?

Pure sugar is what cavity causing bacteria use for food. The more you give them the faster they multiply and more quickly they will rot your teeth!

Are You Drinking A 5 Pound Bag Of Sugar Every Two Weeks?

Did you know that a regular 20 ounce soda contains anywhere from 15 to 18 teaspoons of sugar. That’s over 240 calories, if you are counting. Now when you get the big 64 ounce cup size, the one my brother-in-law calls the “bed-wetter” size, the amount of sugar is almost mind boggling.

The “giant gulp” 64 ounce cups have as many as 44 teaspoons of sugar. That’s almost a cup of sugar (48 teaspoons =1 cup of sugar). At 16 calories to a teaspoon of sugar, that’s a staggering 700 calories. One big drink a day, and in two weeks you’ve easily downed a 5 pound bag of sugar. Keep this going and you could ugly-up your smile. Even if you keep your body calorically satisfied with sodas imagine what is happening inside, beyond your teeth. I know it’s not your fault, completely. You are falling victim, if only subconsciously, to a massive advertising and media campaign

Image of a 5 Pound Bag Of Sugar

5 Pound Bag Of Sugar

Big Bucks Are Being Spent To Create Cavities-Er, Uh, Sell Sodas

One reason soda consumption is so extraordinarily high is that beverage companies spend billions of dollars a year or more marketing to you. With a ballpark of half of that amount going to the two-year-old to 17-year-old range according tho the US Trade Commission.

According to the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity, in 2010, the average preschooler saw 213 ads for high sugar containing drinks. As for preteens, they saw 277 ads, and teenagers, a staggering 406 ads. This includes popular sodas, energy drinks, and sports drinks.


Serving Sizes Have Grown From 6.5 Ounces To 42 Ounces

Has it always been this way? No. Before the 1950s, sodas were sold in 6 1/2 ounce bottles (one serving). And then, in the 1960s it became the 12 ounce can. In the early 1990s, 20 ounce plastic bottles became commonplace. Then in 2011, the 1.25 L bottles were minted, that’s a 42 ounce bottle.

The packaging may say serving size equals 6 ounces or 12 ounces, but few consumers are paying any attention to labeling and often consuming the whole contents.

The School of Nutrition at the Harvard School Of Public Health reports, on an average day one out of two people in United States consume sugar containing drinks.

Let’s not even think about what this does to obesity, diabetes heart disease and even gout. But for now, let’s focus on your teeth. And more specifically, let’s talk about dental cavities. You’ve probably heard that sugar is not good for your teeth. But how you consume your sugar is even more important.

Sugar Is Fertilizer For Cavity Causing Bacteria

I’ve often joked with my patients that it would be better if you sat down and ate a cup full of sugar with a spoon, at one time, than taking that same amount of sugar and putting it into a 1/2 gallon of water and sipping on it throughout an eight-hour day. What I’m suggesting is certainly not good for your health, but it would likely reduce the number of your new cavities.

If your teeth receive a small amount of sugar, delivered over a long period of time, you are keeping the cavity causing bacteria in your mouth fat and happy. Well fed bacteria start reproducing at a crazy rate, like bacteria do, doubling in number in just a matter of minutes.

You Are Growing A New Crop Of Bacteria Constantly

Let’s say you brushed your teeth really well after breakfast and they started out squeaky clean. On your way to work, school or the gym you start your daily ritual of drinking sugary beverages throughout the day. By dinner time you have a considerable layer of bacterial fuzz on your teeth. That fuzz is called plaque. You can see it if you look close and can even scrape it off your teeth with your fingernail. It’s white, unless it is littered with food confetti.

That fuzz consists of leftover groceries and growing bacteria clumps. With sugar as a fertilizer, bacteria, are happily pooping out acids causing your teeth to bubble and fizz away.

So don’t make more bacteria grow with any help from sugar. Begin substituting water for sodas and juices to cut your risk of dental cavities.

Acid Additives Help Rot Your Teeth Too!

But there is another reason soda drinking is particularly hazardous to your smile. It’s the acid additives in sodas designed to make the sodas taste like they do. They are a second reason sodas are death to your teeth. Look for: How Acid Additives In Sodas Soften Your Teeth-Making Bigger Cavities