Sugar: America’s Dental Enemy

The World Health Organization has issued draft guidelines calling for a reduction of daily sugar intake to 5% of total daily calories in order to tackle public health problems, such as obesity and tooth decay.


WHO say consumption of free sugars, particularly from sugar-sweetened drinks, may lead to an unhealthy diet, weight gain and noncommunicable diseases (NCDs), such as heart disease and diabetes.

  • 71.4% of U.S. adults get more than the recommended 10% of their daily calories from added sugars in foods and drinks
  • Data from a National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey show that 50% of the population consumes sugary drinks on any given day.
  • 5% consume at least 567 kcal from sugary drinks on any given day – the equivalent to four cans of cola.
  • The average sugar intake in the U.S. is 22 teaspoons per person per day.
  • Even one pack of M&M’s may be more than you should eat in a day, newly drafted guidelines from the World Health Organization suggest.

How it affects your teeth:

“Tooth decay occurs when the bacteria that line the teeth feed on simple sugars, creating acid that destroys enamel,” Anahad O’Connor explains at The New York Times. Because acid is a key culprit, sour candies are especially bad.

*Sources: Business Insider, LA Times, Medical News Today

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