Our West Vancouver dentist, Dr. Rodney Shainbom, would like to clear up some sugar confusion. Ever think that eating white sugar is bad for you? How about raw sugar? Or brown? Or that exotic-sounding, turbanado? These sugars are made from sugar cane or sugar beets. For now, we will leave out honey and maple syrup. But the bottom line is . . . all sugar, whatever the colour or the extent of refinement, is chemically the same. Your body nor your teeth can tell the difference, beside taste variances due to how much molasses remains after processing. Any sugar in your mouth provokes the bacteria living there to produce acid, which resides in plaque, a sticky substance that sits on the surfaces of your teeth. The acid in plaque erodes the teeth’s enamel, allowing bacteria to invade and create a cavity. Brushing after every meal removes sticky plaque, and children and adults who brush immediately and thoroughly after eating, will have far fewer cavities. Time is also a factor. Better to eat a slice of cake, over 10 minutes, brushing soon after, than to sip a soda over 2 hours. But the only people who can eat as much sugar as they please (if they are not thinking about other health problems resulting from sugar intake), are those who don’t have any teeth left at all. Have no doubt! Sugar by any name is truly the same game.