How Sour Candy Affects Your Teeth

Sour candies are all the rage right now.  Kids have contests to see who can stand the most sour candy, and Warhead candies are like a warhead straight to your tooth enamel.  Cry baby gum, well, too much of that can make people really cry from tooth pain later in life.  You may not realize it, but sour candy affects your teeth in more ways than one.

Aside from the sourness of candies being bad for your mouth, consider all the sugar in them.  Just because something is sour doesn’t mean it has any less sugar.  Add these two things together, the sweet and the sour, and you could end up with major problems down the road.

Acid Erodes Our Teeth

Most people remember from school science projects like homemade volcanoes how acids and alkaline substances react together.  Vinegar, an acidic liquid, and baking soda, an alkaline powder, mix together to create a strong reaction.  Imagine this happening in a smaller scale in your mouth where it can attack your tooth enamel.

On the pH scale, which runs from 0-14, the lower numbers are acidic and the higher numbers are alkaline.  Inside your mouth, the ideal pH is 7, right in the middle.  When it goes too low, you don’t even have to have plaque build up to erode teeth, it just begins to happen due to the lowered pH allowing an acidic environment to attack your teeth.

Consider this…

Tooth enamel starts to break down at a pH level of around 4.  That may not seem like much of a change, but consider these facts when you make decisions for yourself or your family.

  • Spree candies are only mildly tart, and have a pH level of 3 
  • Sour Skittles have a pH of 2.2
  • War Heads Spray candy, a very sour 1.6 on the pH scale 
  • Battery acid — 1.0

The acids in sour candy can cause sensitivity, translucent tooth surfaces, and an increase in cavities as your enamel weakens under the stress of too much acid.

While it is best to stop eating sour candies altogether, there are some ways to help if your cravings for sour hit hard.  Most importantly, keep in mind that candies are meant to be small occasional treats, not daily snacks.  Chewing sugarless gum helps, as does rinsing your mouth out with water after eating sour candies, but brushing and rinsing is the best action you can take to avoid damage if you find that you have to have these treats.

If you’re experiencing signs of acid erosion, ask Dr. Hakimzadeh and his professional team of dental experts in Phoenix, Arizona about it.  We can help.

Thank you for being a valued patient!  We hope you and your smile are doing well.