As a follow up on a previous blog, "Worn Down Enamel Puts Teeth in Danger", I saw an interesting article that can be very helpful for you and your family.
Sour candies are popular these days, but the high acidity of these fruity/sour candies can weaken and wear away tooth enamel, which is essential to healthy teeth. According to a study by the Minnesota Dental Association, some of these sour candies are almost as bad for your teeth as battery acid!
The Hard Facts About 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.
- Some candy is 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.
The Signs of Tooth Erosion
- Sensitivity occurs when tooth enamel wears away. You may feel a twinge of pain when consuming hot, cold, or sweet foods and drinks.
- Discoloration is visible as a slight yellow appearance on the tooth surface.
- Transparency of the front teeth appears along the biting edges.
- Rounding of teeth occurs along the surfaces and edges of the teeth.
- Cracks and roughness appear along the edges of the teeth.
- Dents (known as cupping) develop on the chewing surfaces of the teeth. At this severe stage, fillings may actually appear to rise up.
- Tooth decay is caused by loss of the protective outermost layer of enamel.
How to Protect Your Teeth
- Reduce or eliminate consumption of sour candies.
- Don’t suck or chew sour candies for long periods of time.
- If you do eat a sour candy, swish your mouth with water, drink milk, or eat cheese afterwards to neutralize the acids.
- Chew sugar-free gum to produce saliva which protects tooth enamel.
- After eating sour candy or other acidic foods or drinks, wait one hour before brushing teeth. Brushing right away increases the harmful effects of acid on teeth.
- Ask your dentist about ways to reduce sensitivity or minimize enamel loss if erosion has begun.
- Use fluoride toothpaste and a soft toothbrush to protect your teeth.
If you have questions or you or someone in your family has had sensitive teeth due to over consumption of sour candies, call our office for a complimentary (value $75.00) evaluation to check for tooth erosion. We are here to help in case you have a dental emergency or any other dental service you may need.
- Minnesota Dental Association 2013