How Sugar Affects Your Teeth

by | Feb 25, 2021

Easter weekend is near, so let’s talk about how sugar affects your teeth. Eating only three jelly beans just isn’t an option, and neither is ONLY eating the chocolate bunny’s ears (though that IS the best place to start!). 

It is hard to limit yourself when it comes to candy. However, handfuls upon handfuls of jelly beans, large chocolate bunnies, and those delicious peanut-butter-filled Reese’s Reester Bunnies are not always the best for your dental health. 

It is time to learn about the sugar content of jelly beans and the effect sugar can have on your teeth. Additionally, take note of some easy ways to prevent and reverse sugar’s impact on your overall tooth health. 

Amount Of Sugar in Jelly Beans

According to research broken down by SFgate, 130 small jelly beans contain a little over 25 teaspoons of sugar.That is about one hundred grams of sugar for the little ones, so you can imagine how much sugar the large-sized jelly beans contain. 

Think about how much of that sugar gets stuck in your teeth while you are chewing! Jelly beans are pretty sticky.

130 small jelly beans = over 25 tsp of sugar

Sugar + Your Teeth = Cavities

When you eat (or drink) sugar, the sugar particles stick to your teeth. The longer the sugar particles stay in your mouth, the more time they have to interact with plaque bacteria and effect your tooth health.

how long should you wait to brush your teeth after eating sugar? a. immediately b. 7 minutes c. 30 minutes d. 2 hours the answer will be below
Continue reading to learn the answer!

The bad, problem-causing bacterias that live inside of  the mouth are called Streptococcus mutans and Streptococcus sobrinus. The interaction between sugar particles and these bacterias produce acid. 

This acid, produced after eating sugar, is responsible for eating away at tooth enamel and causing demineralization. In the end, this leads to higher rates of tooth decay and cavities. 

Prevent Sugar-Related Tooth Decay

According to Action On Sugar, plaque begins to accumulate on teeth within minutes after eating sugar. For this reason, it should be removed effectively. 

However, studies show that it is best to wait at least 30 minutes after finishing a sugary dessert before brushing your teeth. This gives the sugars ample time to settle onto your tooth enamel. In turn, waiting at least a half hour allows you to remove more sugar remnants and prevent damage and cavities. 

Studies show that it is best to wait at least 30 minutes after finishing a sugary dessert before brushing your teeth.

So, this Easter, go ahead and eat those jelly beans. Just remember to take a few minutes and brush at least thirty minutes after the last handful. This will remove any damaging particles from your pearly whites and prevent future cavities. Sugar affects your teeth, but you can decrease the chance of tooth damage with regular brushing.

If you think you may have eaten too many jelly beans this Easter and are in need of a dental cleaning, schedule an appointment today!

About Dr. Scott
Dr. William Scott Poling is the Principle Dentist and Owner of Poling Family Dental Care in the South Hills of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. With many years of dental experience, Dr. Scott offers top-tier dental care to all patients.