Friday Favorites: How to Stop Tooth Decay

If sugar consumption is considered to be the one and only cause of cavities, how much is too much?

If Fructose Is Bad, What About Fruit? ( ) How Much Fruit Is Too Much? ( ) Watch the videos to find out!

How powerful is the sugar industry? Check out Big Sugar Takes on the World Health Organization ( ).

For videos on dental and oral health, see:
• Don’t Use Antiseptic Mouthwash ( )
• Plant-Based Diets: Oral Health ( )
• Plant-Based Diets: Dental Health ( )
• What’s the Best Mouthwash? ( )
• Protecting Teeth from Hibiscus Tea ( )
• Antibacterial Toothpaste: Harmful, Helpful, or Harmless? ( )
• Do Raisins Cause Cavities? ( )
• Is Sodium Lauryl Sulfate Safe? ( )
• Is CABP in SLS-Free Toothpaste Any Better? ( )
• Best Food for Periodontal Disease and Gingivitis ( )
• How to Treat Periodontitis with Diet ( )
• Best Foods for Halitosis and Gingivitis ( )
• The Worst Food for Tooth Decay ( )
• Should You Floss Before or After You Brush? ( )

What about bad breath? Check out:
• How to Naturally Treat Tongue Coating-Associated Halitosis (Bad Breath) ( )
• Foods That Cause and Help Halitosis (Bad Breath) ( )
• Effects of Tongue Scraping on Plaque, Gingivitis, and Cavities ( )
• Tongue Scraping vs. Tongue Brushing for Treating Halitosis (Bad Breath) ( )
• Does Tongue Scraping Cause Cancer? ( )
• How Tongue Scraping Can Affect Heart Health ( )
• How to Clean Your Tongue ( )
• Can Stress Cause Halitosis (Bad Breath)? ( )
• The Benefits of Gum Chewing for Halitosis (Bad Breath) ( )
• Dental Implant Overdentures and Cognitive Function ( )

Check out my podcast on Teeth and Smiles ( ).

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Have a question about this video? Leave it in the comment section at and someone on the team will try to answer it.

Want to get a list of links to all the scientific sources used in this video? Click on Sources Cited at . You’ll also find a transcript and acknowledgements for the video, my blog and speaking tour schedule, and an easy way to search (by translated language even) through our videos spanning more than 2,000 health topics.

Thanks for watching. I hope you’ll join in the evidence-based nutrition revolution!
-Michael Greger, MD FACLM

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Dave McKinnon

  • @user-pg9hq6wh6n says:

    Love your content ❤

  • @CompanionAnimals2011 says:

    Thanks for the great information!

  • @nisayoung5246 says:

    Since being in America been having tooth problems .

  • @beachvacay3184 says:

    Thank you. I hate that the medical community doesn’t even address diet.

    • @oceanlawnlove8109 says:

      Literally not true lmao y’all love overdramatizing

    • @beachvacay3184 says:

      @@oceanlawnlove8109 When has a doctor ever asked you about your diet? They don’t. They just prescribe drugs for high cholesterol when you could stop eating meat and lower it naturally. Maybe you’re too young to see it but you will.

    • @oskariKN25 says:

      ​​@@beachvacay3184Doctors are not the whole of “medical community” research publishers and health associations also belong to this group and the american heart association has quite firmly established the importance of diet in heart health, obviously the oral health authorities also explain the dangers of processed foods and sugar in causing tooth decay.

      And yes they should do more and medical doctors should have comprehensive training in nutrition.

      This is of course an american and capitalistic problem, in Finland we get dietary advice on matters regarding such chronic health problems.

    • @ChrisEAdlay says:

      Why would I want to eat less meat? Better to eat no sugar and cut carbs than cut meat​@@beachvacay3184

    • @Mary-Ann_B_Mabaet says:

      @@beachvacay3184 Exactly. And if you ASK for a Recommendation to a Nutritionist they “can’t” unless you ASK them to write that down Specifically in Your Charts… then SUDDENLY they Can.

  • @MotiveMindMeditations says:

    I would love to see dental prices come down so that people can afford to go to the dentist. I was a hygienist for 25 years and have seen dental skyrocket to an almost unaffordable amount for even a middle class person. 8 grand for braces, 2 grand for a crown, and prices just going up and up. We can’t educate when kids aren’t seen for routine cleanings because a parent cannot afford to take them.

    • @pmw3839 says:

      They wouldn’t need any of that, including cleaning, if they cut out all added sugar.

    • @MotiveMindMeditations says:

      @@pmw3839 Gum disease, knocked out teeth, chipped teeth, crowding, etc.. have nothing to do with sugar. If we eliminated sugar we would still need dentists. You are still going to have plaque even if you cut out sugar, so a cleaning is still important. And shocking you can get cavities from things like chips, fruit and other carbohydrates because they break down into sugars. I was a pediatric dental hygienist for over 25 years.

    • @beachvacay3184 says:

      @@MotiveMindMeditations Agreed. Prices are out of control. I’m in need of a tooth replacement but it’s like $4000 or probably even more now.

    • @ellen3093 says:

      @@MotiveMindMeditations gum disease has everything to do with sugar. Please educate yourself before commenting!

    • @MotiveMindMeditations says:

      @@ellen3093 Gum disease has other root causes other than sugar. I went to school, maybe you should go yourself.

  • @JenniferKBrown says:


  • @paulcohen6727 says:

    My daughter just asked me to buy her Fruit Loops today. I told her that I love her too much to do that.

  • @annaj.4740 says:

    I love your sarcasm so much 💝 very good point at the end 💪😎

  • @NutritionFactsOrg says:

    Stay up on the latest news by subscribing to’s free e-newsletter and receive our Daily Dozen Meal Planning Guide as a thank-you for subscribing. -NF Team

  • @allencrider says:

    Sugar but not fruit? What’s the mechanism of that?

    • @parkersavage8774 says:

      Probably has to do with the way it is packaged. Fruit sugar should be bound up with fiber and other compounds that limit it’s affect on cavities (think that’s also the reason fruit doesn’t cause blood sugar spikes), or the sugars in fruits are in storage mode (I can’t remember the glycogen equivalent for plants, amylopectin?) and doesn’t breakdown enough in the mouth to be easily accessed by mouth bacteria to start cavities. Added sugar isn’t packaged that way/should be more easily accessible to oral microbes. Fruit good, ice cream bad

    • @mo1976ney says:

      @@parkersavage8774 The packaging of sugars and other nutrients in whole foods will take your system longer to unpack (in the digestive tract). And the amount and speed at which you can shove it into your body is different for processed sugary foods compared to whole foods. Processed sugars are devoid of fiber and other elements, and the amount in just one drink hits your system (teeth, bloodsugar) in one fell swoop of minutes. Whereas in fruit the total amount is smaller, as you’ll probably not eat two apples, or 3 oranges. Once you start processing, say, juicing 3 oranges, you’ll easily drink a glass with multiple fruits in it, which makes the sugar intake three times more, and much faster. Even more processed, like in soda or cereals, even more fibre and other good nutrients are taken out, and the sugar is more condensed so -to-speak. Little chewing, and more gulping. Fruit: chewing, soda and Ice cream: more of a gulping kind of intake. There can be 30grams of sugar in a soda, but you’d not often eat 3 apples (10grams of sugar) in half an hour. Also, in an apple there’ll be for instance anti-oxidants, the good stuff that repairs our cells and protects our system. In a can of soda, there’s nothing like that. So in processed sugary foods you’ll only have the bad, in higher percentages, hitting you faster, and without the protective nutrients.
      The exact same goes for white flour as opposed to whole grains. Does this help?

  • @PokefreakMaster333 says:

    I wish we had a label for foods that have 2.5% of sugar in the meal 😢

  • @leftyfourguns says:

    Why does sugar from fruit not increase chances of cavities?

    • @bigskytinybird says:

      Google it.

    • @Mary-Ann_B_Mabaet says:

      They’re both sweet to the tongue but on a MOLECULAR level they’re slightly different. The differences can matter in how different molecules react with S. mutans, the main bacteria that is responsible for Cavities, INCLUDING other components of the Fruit that the Sweetened Object doesn’t have. Nonetheless, if you don’t brush your teeth, Fruit Sugar can still react the Same Way, eventually.

    • @BrittanyPham-rh6rk says:


  • @greysenpaige says:

    I removed sugar from my diet 10 years ago. I eat only whole foods and have had no sugar that wasn’t in fruit naturally in it’s whole form. Life changing!

  • @parkersavage8774 says:

    What if we have a food with added sugar in tandem with whole foods high in fiber? For example, I cook my oatmeal in sweetened soy milk and then add things like flax, berries, walnuts, and cinnamon. Would this still have the same effect?

  • @OfficialAlgathonix says:

    Watch out for dried fruits as well, I was eating a lot of dried mango pieces which triggered a cavity 🙁

    • @RichS.73yroldbodybuilder says:

      Most dried fruits have added sugar. That’s a real problem too.💪🏼💪🏼💪🏼

  • @kronk358 says:

    IDK. I used to get cavities frequently. Since I went vegan almost a decade ago, I havent had a singly one. And I havent changed my sugar intake. Id love to see stats comparing vegans to omnivores in cavity frequency.

    • @GregariousAntithesis says:

      I am paleo eat mostly meat, fish, eggs and low glycemic vegs and fruit and my dental cleanings are simple now. I use a water pik and brush once a day before bed.

  • @adamisaac4685 says:

    right on man.
    no sugar!!!!
    I’m trying so hard everyday to not eat any garbage.
    haven’t had fast food in at least 2 years now.

  • @Arthur.1002. says:

    Please make a video about how to reverse a cavity

  • @kati-ana says:

    I had a client once who came to me looking in shock. She said she’d just come from her dentist and was told she had 12 cavities – 12!!! This all happened in a years time as she had her check ups once a year. She asked her dentist how that was possible, he said, poor oral hygiene and lots of sugar. She said she did suck on hard candies and drank sweet coffees all day long and sometimes forgot to brush her teeth before bedtime. I am an oral hygiene fanatic so I just couldn’t wrap my head around her lack of. But on the flip side my husband ate 2 packages of Jolly Ranchers every single day for as long as I can remember since being married to him, and he ate a lot of sweets in general but nerve drank sweet drinks yet his teeth are perfect and zero cavities. The only differences between him and my client was he rinsed his mouth often throughout the day and he never missed brushing his teeth and we always have out dental cleanings every six months.

  • @StarWonder says:

    WFPB as much as possible

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