We all know that eating candy isn’t good for us — unless, perhaps, it’s a little piece of dark chocolate high in healthy flavonoids. Still, let’s face it. You still may reach for an occasional sweet from time to time.
Most candies are simply empty calories filled with sugar. But the kind I grew up with, which became my favorite, is much more harmful. It’s almost as acidic as battery acid! If you eat it repeatedly, it could soften the enamel on your teeth, increase cavities, and make your gums more sensitive.
I grew up eating sour balls. And since then many forms of tart candies have become popular. Now you can find them in chewy gummy candies, hard candies, powders, and chewing gums.
These are lower in sugar than many other candies, which gives them the appearance of safety. But they’re not. The acid they contain is high enough to damage your teeth and gums.
The California Dental Hygienists’ Association (CDHA) has some suggestions for you if you’re still tempted to eat these sour candies.
* Avoid candies high in acids. Read their labels. Acids include citric, lactic, malic, tartaric, fumaric, adipic, and ascorbic acids.
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* “Concentrated fruit juice extracts” is just another phrase for “acid.” Don’t be fooled into thinking they’re safe.
* If you do eat any sour candies, rinse your mouth immediately afterward to dilute the acids.
* Don’t brush your teeth right away. This can scratch the enamel, which becomes soft and is more easily removed.
And, finally, with Halloween coming later this week, don’t give children any sour candies. This is something you’ll want to avoid during other occasions as well. It’s just not worth it.
Your voice of reason in Women's Health,
Dr. Janet Zand