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Every time you eat or drink anything sugary, your teeth are under acid attack for up to an hour. This is because the sugar will react with the bacteria in plaque (the sticky coating on your teeth) and produce the harmful acids. So it is important to keep sugary foods only to mealtimes, limiting the amount of time your mouth is at risk.
Acidic foods and drinks can be just as harmful to your teeth. The acid erodes the enamel, exposing the dentine underneath. This can make the teeth sensitive and unsightly.
The main point to remember is that it is not the amount of sugar you eat or drink, but how often you do it. Sweet foods are allowed, but it is important to keep them to mealtimes.
To help reduce tooth decay, cut down on how often you have sugary snacks and drinks and try to choose sugar-free varieties. Confectionery and chewing gum containing Xylitol may help reduce tooth decay.
Sugary foods can also contribute to a range of health problems including heart disease and being overweight.
Dr Sarjoo Patel