SunWest Blog

Shocking Things That Cause Cavities

We’ve all been told since we were kids to stay away from too many sweets and to not drink sodas too often. Unfortunately, there are more foods and drinks that cause cavities that most people don’t know are that damaging to their teeth. Here’s a look at some things you may be surprised actually cause or encourage tooth decay.

Milk Can Actually Cause Cavities

While the calcium in milk is great for developing teeth and bones, it can actually be detrimental to dental health for young children still drinking from the bottle. Milk still has plenty of natural sugars inside of it that feed the acid-causing bacteria in our mouths that weaken tooth enamel. If you’re still bottle-feeding your child, make sure to never let her fall asleep with the bottle in her mouth.

Cough Syrup and Dental Health

Because most cough syrups contain citric acids, sucrose and fructose, they can cause tooth decay and erosion of tooth enamel. Especially if you take it right before bed and after you’ve brushed your teeth, the damaging syrup remains on your teeth all night. The ones that have alcohol in them can also dry out your mouth, meaning there’s less saliva in your mouth to protect your teeth.


lemonade that causes cavitiesBecause it’s a very acidic drink already, which also has sugar in it, lemonade can do a number on teeth. The acid content wears on the tooth enamel, and the sugar feeds the bacteria that produces more acid that further wears on enamel. While lemon juice in water isn’t as bad as the sugar-laden lemonade, it’s still acidic and best enjoyed in small doses.

The best way to protect your teeth is to make sure you brush and floss daily, and also make sure that once you’ve brushed your teeth for the night that you don’t put any cavity-causing foods or drinks back on your teeth before bed. If you do have cavities forming, you may not realize it for a while. That’s why regular checkups are important. Through regular exams and x-rays, the dentist will spot the beginning stages of tooth decay and plan treatment accordingly.