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As a dentist, when I talk to patients about “sweets,” the response is almost always the same. There is a sheepish admission that they have a sweet tooth, and yes, they know that by eating a lot of sugar, they’re putting themselves at risk for tooth decay. Even young kids understand the relationship between sugar and tooth decay, a trade-off they’re normally more than happy to make. I think the main reason people are so cavalier about sugar and decay is that they figure the worst that can happen is that they’ll get a cavity, the dentist will fill it, and they’ll be back to normal in no time.