Sugar consumption harms teeth and stimulates dental cavities, for this reason, the World Health Organisation gives recommendations on the consumption of sugar as an important step to prevent tooth decay. The new recommendation invites you to reduce the consumption of sugar by at least 10% less than the recommended daily calorie intake, in order to reduce the risk of dental cavities.

The more you expose your teeth to sugar, the more harm it will cause. For an average adult with a normal weight, the recommended daily intake of sugar is 50g a day.

Nigel Pitts, Director of the Dental Innovation and Translation Centre (ITC) at King’s College, Dental Institute of London (United Kingdom), considers that “the recommendations of the OMS on sugar consumption are positive step towards fighting the effect that excessive consumption of sugar has on our diet. It has been proved that sugar is the main reason for tooth decay. However, we need to remember that there are other factors that we should also keep in mind, such as fluoride application and the removal of plaque. Our goal is to use these recommendations as a reference to offer the public some tips that would be easy to understand and practical, and to help improve personal oral hygiene in both children and adults.”

Tips on how to prevent tooth decay:

  1. Think before you eat! You need to ask yourself, “Am I consuming more than 50g of sugar a day?”
  2. Brush your teeth with a fluoride toothpaste at least twice a day, floss every day, and visit the dentist and dental hygienist regularly.
  3. Brush your teeth thoroughly, in order to eliminate plaque efficiently; you need to make sure to reach the most difficult areas in the back of the mouth, and that the brushing always lasts 2 minutes.
  4. Value your teeth and change your way of thinking about them; imagine that you could see and feel the harm that you are causing to your teeth as a result of the constant exposure to sugar. We all spend time in front of the mirror in order to take care of our skin and hair, so why not take care of our teeth?

Speak to your Dental Hygienist at your next visit about any concerns or questions.


Article written by Diana Botero, Dental Hygienist, Cherrytree Dental Practice.