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Sour Worse Than Sweet for Your Teeth

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EMMAUS, PA-According to anecdotal reports from candy store owners, the souring economy has led to a rise in candy sales, both sweet and sour kinds. But it’s not just cavities you have to worry about when turning to those Life Savers; your tooth enamel suffers too, says a study published in theJournal of the American Dental Association.

THE DETAILS: The study’s authors purchased four different brands of candies that had both sweet and sour counterparts: regular and sour Jolly Rancher, Life Savers, Mike & Ike, and Twizzlers. All the candies were dissolved in a water or artificial saliva mixture, and the researchers immersed teeth in the mixtures for 25 hours (every five hours, the teeth were rinsed off and reimmersed) to simulate sucking on a piece of candy for a long period of time, after which they looked for changes in the tooth enamel using microscopes.

The teeth exposed to the sour candy varieties had significantly softer enamel than the teeth exposed to the sweet candies, with the largest erosion in enamel seen with the sour Jolly Ranchers. But the greatest difference in tooth enamel erosion between sweet and sour versions of a candy was with the Mike & Ike’s; the sour Mike & Ike’s produced 92 percent more erosion than that triggered by the regular version of the candy.

January 9, 2013

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