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We are now located in Aurora at 5001 S. Parker Rd., Suite 201 — on the NW corner of S. Parker Rd. and E. Belleview Ave. in the Point Belleview building.

Don't Let Sour Candy Sour Your Smile!

canofwormsWe all know that sweet, sugary candies and beverages are bad for your teeth. The naturally-occurring bacteria ("Sugar Bugs" and "Sour Slugs") in your mouth use sugar as energy to multiply and stick themselves to the surface of your teeth. Over time, this turns into plaque (say: plak) and continues to eat away at the enamel on your teeth. Without protective enamel:

  • Teeth are more prone to cavities (tiny holes in teeth).
  • Teeth have an increases sensitivity to hot and cold.
  • Teeth take on a slightely yellow appearance due to the expose of the yellow dentin below the enamel.

What most of us don't realize is that sour candy is twice as harmful. Sour candy is so acidic it can actually dissolve tooth enamel directly on contact. Similar to an ice cube that's been left on the counter, the acid in sour candy can melt your teeth.

Chewy, sticky sour candy is even more of a smile spoiler. Since it sticks to your teeth, this type of sour candy more time to do damage than if it were washed away by saliva. As it continues to stick to your teeth and hang around in your mouth, the sour candy feeds the bacteria ("Sugar Bugs" and "Sour Slugs") in your mouth, which produces acid that dissolves tooth enamel. 

Tips To Reduce Damage From Sour Candy & Protect Teeth

Limit your intake of sour candy. Eating sour candy every now and then isn't a problem, but when you do indulge, make it a point not to suck or chew on sour candies for long peiords of time.

Always swish your mouth with water after eating sour candy. This helps rinse the candy and the sour/acidic residue off your teeth before it can do any lasting damage.

Don't brush right after eating sour candy. Brushing immediately can cause you to brush away parts of the tooth enamel that your saliva, increasing damage to your teeth.   Wait about an hour to brush. This will give your mouth a chance to use its own defenses.

Chew Xylitol gum (like Trident or Orbit), drink milk or eat cheese after eating sour candy. Xylitol fakes out bacteria and may even help prevent cavities. Milk and cheese help neutralize the acids in the sour candy and reduce tooth damage.

Tart. Tangy. Mouth-Puckering.

youngGirlPuckeringThese are just a few of the words used to describe sour candies. The pucker-power of sour candies comes from varying amounts of different acids (citric, lactic, malic, tartaric, fumaric, adipic, phosphoric, ascorbic) that are usually disguised on ingredient labels as fruit  juice concentrates, fruit juice purees, natural juice extracts or natural vitamin C. Sounds pretty healthy, doesn’t it?

Do citrus fruits (oranges, lemons, limes, etc.) pose the same risk as sour candies? No, since each type of fruit usually contains only one kind of acid, which varies (citric, malic, tartaric). Any of these could be damaging if the fruit (say a lemon) was sucked on for a period of time. Luckily, that’s not usually the case. People tend to eat fruit quickly, while candy is often consumed slowly, exposing teeth to the acid over a longer period of time. However, it's always a good idea to swish with water after you eat citrus fruits.