30 Mar Sour Sweets : The Truth
Exploring their adverse effect on your teeth….
At Crown House Dental in Egham Surrey, we really do make a huge effort to keep all our patients informed about anything and everything we think is useful to help you have the best possible oral health. One of the most common dental topics of the moment is sugar.
A certain Mr Oliver has made sure it is at the forefront of our health headlines at the moment, and this is great – it is something we need to be talking about in order to make much needed improvements. We’re not looking to tackle such a huge subject today, but simply draw your attention to one tiny section of our diets where sugar is prominent – sweets. To be more specific, we are talking about sour sweets, because they happen to be a double enemy of your teeth. We know you, our valued patients, know that sugary sweets are bad for the teeth, but we are also aware many people don’t know exactly how bad sour sweets are.
We know sugary sweets are bad for our teeth, but those described as sour or tangy – the ones that make you pull a funny face when you eat them, can be extremely damaging to teeth.
Why Acid Is Bad
On the PH scale, soapy water is alkaline and sits at quite a high alkaline point, typically around PH12; whereas stomach acid sits nearer PH2 which is really quite acidic. Our saliva should happily sit at around a PH7 and it is desirable for our bodies to be a little bit more alkaline than acidic. Whenever we eat acidic foods, our PH level drops towards the more acidic levels and acid in the mouth is very bad for teeth because it wears down enamel. This will happen regardless of whether or not the food is sugary, the sugar just adds another attack on top!
What About Acidic Sweets?
So you might be forgiven for thinking that acid is as bad as sugar, so both should be consumed in moderation. The problem is, the acid in some sweets is much stronger than many people realise. Many popular sour sweet brands sit at around a 2.2 on the PH scale, but some can be as low as a 1.6 – to compare – battery acid sits at a 1.0 on the PH scale. This information alone again might not seem so bad, but the problem is our teeth start to erode at a level 4 on the PH scale, so the chances of these sour sweets damaging the teeth are high, particularly if they are consumed regularly.
How To Tell Your Teeth Are Starting To Erode
The most common signs that something is affecting your teeth are increased sensitivity, a translucent appearance and more cavities due to the enamel being worn down.
How To Avoid Acid Attacks From Sour Sweets
You can chew sugar free chewing gum after eating any food. This stimulates saliva which helps wash away any acid and ‘bad bacteria’ formed from consuming the sweets. We do not recommend brushing your teeth until at least an hour after consuming sour sweets (or anything acidic) because you simply brush around harmful acid and bacteria which can hurt the teeth even more. We also recommend visiting us at Crown House Dental Clinic at least every 6 months for checkups so we can help you perfect your oral hygiene regime, and act fast if any aspect of your lifestyle is affecting your teeth negatively.
Please call your Egham dentist on 01784432641 and one of our friendly receptionists will book you an appointment.