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Your Oral Health

Diet Analysis: Assessing Your Risk for Tooth Decay

Although there are many factors that affect the rate of dental caries (tooth decay), we know that frequent consumption of sugar-containing foods is a major risk factor. The longer and more frequently these foods stay in your mouth, the greater the risk of tooth decay.  

Compute your dietary caries risk

  • Examine the foods listed in the boxes in the lower left.
  • In the corresponding frequency box for each food item, enter the number of times you consumed them at the end of meals or between meals (at least 20 minutes apart) during the course of a normal day.
  • Multiply the frequency number by the number after the x and record that number on the blank line for points.
  • Add the total of all points and plot your total points score on the caries risk line. 



Soft drinks, fruit drinks, cocoa, sugar, and honey in beverages, non-dairy creamers, ice cream, sherbet, jello, flavored yogurt, creamers, pudding, custard, popsicles

Solid and sticky
Cake, cupcakes, donuts, sweet rolls, pastry, canned fruit in syrup, bananas, cookies, chocolate candy, caramel, toffee, jelly beans, other chewy candy, chewing gum that contains sugar, dried fruit, marshmallows, jelly, jam

Slowly dissolving
Hard candies, breath mints, antacid tablets, cough drops
Top of Form
x 1 = points

x 2 = points

x 3 = points

Total Points =


Points: [0 ⇔ 1 Low Risk]   [2 ⇔7 Moderate Risk]  [8  ⇔ 9 High Risk]
Good nutrition, adequate fluoride, and effective oral hygiene are the keys to oral health.

*The Diet Analysis was developed by the Tufts School of Dental Medicine, which gives permission for this use.