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Will sweets really rot your teeth?

Grandma was right!

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Will sweets really rot your teeth?

Asked by Katy O’Brien, age 11, of San Mateo, California

Sugar and sweets can be eaten without inviting tooth decay if the sugar is removed from tooth surface promptly by brushing.

This is according to Dr Holly Muggleston of the School of Health and Applied Sciences at Southern Cross University in Australia. All sweets except some diabetic sweets, contain sugar and there is a clear connection with sugar intake and dental cavities.

Bacteria in your mouth, which promotes cavities, thrive on food particles that contain carbohydrates (sugar and starch). Also important is the length of time that food stays in your mouth, so brush right away. In this case, it is not an old wives' tale.

Stephen Juan, Ph.D. is an anthropologist at the University of Sydney. Email your Odd Body questions to s.juan@edfac.usyd.edu.au

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