While I love the sweet candies like taffy and chocolates, I am a real sucker for the sour treats. But recently I read a statewide warning from the California Dental Hygienists Association that I would like to share with you.
These contemporary candies are very popular and many people have the mistaken belief that they are safer for your teeth because they are not as sweet. Unfortunately, the pH of the sour candies is extremely acidic and is similar to the levels of battery acid.
Some of the most popular sour candies like Sour Patch Kids, Starburst, Warheads, Atomic Warheads and Sour Skittles are significantly high in acid and may cause erosion of the enamel (eat the tooth away). Erosion of the enamel can lead to teeth sensitivity and tooth decay.
The risk is especially great because many times these candies are chewed or sucked on for a long period of time, which creates a longer time for the acid to do its damage. Eat a lot of these sour candies and you increase your chances for cavities, tooth sensitivity, staining, soft-tissue sensitivities and loss of shine.
Tips for this Halloween candy:
Try replacing the sour candies with non-sour sugarless candies.
Rinse your mouth with water immediately after consuming the candy.
If you do eat a sour candy, do not brush immediately when you are finished with your snack. Because of the acidic nature of the candy, you could experience soft tooth enamel and brushing your teeth could abrade the enamel.
Sticky candies aren’t as bad as you may think. Research from the Forsyth Dental Center shows that some sticky foods clear from the mouth faster than less sticky foods. Caramels, for example, dissolve faster than potato chips, dried fruit or crackers.
If you are wearing metal braces rather than Invisalign, which you can remove when eating, be sure to avoid caramels, bubblegum, all hard candies, taffy, licorice, jellybeans and candy corn.
No matter what you decide to give out (and ultimately eat), keep these tips in mind and maintain good oral health, and you should have a fun Halloween and still enjoy your treats.