Monday, October 13, 2014

Sour Candies

In the past 20 years, candies marketed to children have increasingly been of a “fruity” or “sour” variety.
  • Sour candies are very acidic, with a low pH level (Acid Levels in Sour Candies).
  • Some candies are so acidic it can actually burn gums and cheeks.
  • Acid weakens and wears away tooth enamel.
  • Teeth without protective enamel are prone to tooth decay.
  • Each acid attack lasts about 20 minutes.
  • Holding the acid in your mouth by prolonged candy sucking or chewing continues the acid attack.

Research Supports the Theory of Dental Erosion

Research on the harmful effects of acidic food and beverages and dental erosion is well documented in scientific literature. Minnesota dentists Dr. Robyn Loewen and Dr. Robert Marolt, in conjunction with Dr. John Ruby (University of Alabama-Birmingham School of Dentistry), have compiled this substantial evidence into an article titled “Pucker Up: The Effects of Sour Candy on Your Patients’ Oral Health,” published in the Minnesota Dental Association’s Northwest Dentistry Journal (March-April 2008).

The findings are informational and highly useful for both dental professionals and the general public.

How Tooth Erosion Happens

View a Chart Showing the Acid Levels in Popular Sour Candies (.pdf)

What You Can Do To Protect Your Teeth Now:

  1. Reduce or eliminate consumption of sour candies.
  2. Don’t suck or chew sour candies for long periods of time.
  3. If you do eat a sour candy, swish your mouth with water, drink milk, or eat cheese afterwards to neutralize the acids.
  4. Chew sugar-free gum to produce saliva which protects tooth enamel.
  5. After eating sour candy or other acidic foods or drinks, wait one hour before brushing teeth.  Brushing right away increase the harmful effects of acid on teeth.
  6. Ask your dentist about ways to reduce sensitivity or minimize enamel loss if erosion has begun.
  7. Use fluoride toothpaste and a soft toothbrush to protect your teeth.


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