Oftentimes, we have the belief that a good brushing and flossing is enough to ensure optimum tooth health. We may approach sugary snacks with reckless abandon, thinking in our heads that any tooth damage can be removed with proper oral hygiene. Sadly, this is not always the case. Some candies, such as sour sweets, are so acidic, that by the time you brush your teeth, the damage from the sweets has already been done.
Your teeth begin to decalcify at pH levels below 4.0. Many sour treats are far more acidic, and can go as low as 1.6. For comparison, battery acid has a pH level of 1.0. In addition, sucking on sour candy increases the risk of tooth decay and enamel loss.
Enamel is the hardest material in the human body, but the acidity of sour candy is so strong, it has the power to strip away the precious enamel protecting your teeth. Studies have also shown that brushing immediately before and after eating highly acidic sour candies, can still lead to decalcification of your enamel. Citric acid, which is prevalent in many foods and beverages, including sour treats, has been proven to be twice as destructive to dental enamel as nitric acid and even hydrochloric acid.
The pH in sour candies is especially destructive to the dental enamel of children, who have immature dental enamel, and tend to consume larger quantities of the treats.
No matter what candy you treat yourself to this Halloween, be sure to brush and floss. The longer candy is in contact with your teeth, the longer tooth decay can occur.
Lansdowne Dental Arts would like to wish you a safe and happy Halloween. If you would like to schedule an appointment, please call us at 703-858-5990, to speak to a member of our team, or stop by our office in Leesburg, Virginia.