WHY ARE CERTAIN CANDIES so bad for our teeth? One reason is all that sugar, of course. We know that. Here’s something you may not think about as often… Many popular treats include the descriptors tart, tangy, and sour. It seems the more bitter, the better.
Trouble is, our teeth are paying the price for this sour trend and we continue to see the damage.
Acid Erodes Our Teeth
A pH scale shows where substances are on a spectrum from base to acidic. 14–12 is really base, and 2–0 is really acidic.
A nice, neutral pH level of 7 is ideal for your mouth. When you eat acidic foods the pH level lowers. This can create a hostile, enamel-eroding environment for your teeth. No sugar (or plaque) is necessarily needed for an “acid attack” to be damaging.
Let’s Break It Down
Our tooth enamel can start to erode at a pH level of 4. Spree, a relatively mild sour candy, has a pH level of 3, Sour Skittles 2.2, and WarHeads Spray 1.6. That’s pretty shocking when you consider battery acid has a pH level of 1.0.
The Sad Signs Of Erosion
The acid in sour candy can really take a toll on our teeth and may even cause:
- Translucence at the biting edge of your teeth
- Increased cavities due to weakened enamel
Chewing sugarless gum stimulates saliva flow for cleansing. Swishing water around in your mouth can also help. Still, the smartest thing you can do is to stop eating tart candies, or eat them very sparingly. They’re treats, not snacks.