What Are Fermentable Carbohydrates?

All carbohydrates break down into simple sugars; however, fermentable carbohydrates break down into sugars in the mouth, allowing the bacteria in your mouth to use them as food that they turn into acids, which can eventually cause tooth decay. According to Simple Steps to Better Dental Health, these foods are not just the obvious "sugar" foods like candy and sodas, but they also include some fruits, crackers and even crisps. The Academy of General Dentistry suggests combining fermentable carbohydrates with other foods to neutralise acids.


Most people enjoy eating cakes, cookies and other sugary treats; however, they are full of fermentable carbohydrates so eat them with meals or other foods to avoid possible tooth decay. For instance, it is better to eat them as dessert after a meal than to eat them as snacks.


A box of crackers on the counter looks like the perfect in-between meal snack. However, eating these fermentable carbohydrates alone as a snack food contribute to tooth decay. According to the American Academy of Dentistry, it is better to eat cheese with the cracker because this aids in neutralising the acids.

Pretzels and Crisps

Pretzels and crisps are tempting snacks with their salty, comforting crunch, but they need to be eaten with meals so the fermentable carbohydrates can be neutralised. Nuts are an alternative healthy snack food.


Soft, sticky fruits such as bananas and raisins are fermentable carbohydrates, and, although healthy additions to meals, as snacks they can be culprits that eventually lead to tooth decay. According to Simple Steps to Better Dental Health, snacking on raw vegetables or crunchy fruits like apples with high water content that dilutes the sugar is a healthier alternative.

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About the Author

Based in Jacksonville Beach, Fla., Laurie Dickinson began writing in 1977. Her articles have appeared in the fine-arts magazine "The Phoenix" and various online publications. Dickinson is a certified personal trainer with American Fitness Professionals and Associates. She also holds a Master of Arts in English from the University of North Florida, where she serves as a professor of rhetoric.