Sour Candy: Havoc for Healthy Teeth?

Sour candy may be stripping the protective surface from your teeth. Here's how to enjoy your favorite candies while saving your smile.

By Janice Graham from Reader's Digest | November 2008
Healthy Smile and Sour Candyclipart.comPenchant for sour candy? Some candies may make you a sourpuss.

Pucker up with sour candy and you risk ruining your smile, says a new Minnesota Dental Association report on tooth enamel erosion. Treats like Sour Skittles, Lemonheads, and some flavored Altoids are high in acids that strip away teeth’s protective surface. Dentist Robert J. Marolt offers this advice:


  • 1.

    Rinse right away.

    Swishing water in your mouth after a candy helps wash away the acid.

  • 2.

    Wait a half hour to brush.

    The acid of a sour candy softens the fragile surface of the teeth. Brushing immediately after eating one could cause damage.

  • 3.

    Skip fruit flavors.

    Lemon, grape, and cherry destroy more enamel than do cinnamon and mint, which are lower in acid.

  • 4.

    Switch to sugar-free gum.

    It can satisfy your oral urge while stimulating saliva flow, which protects enamel.

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