What Damages Tooth Enamel More: Sour Candy or Battery Acid?

Some sour candies are nearly as acidic as battery acid, making them very damaging to tooth enamel. Battery acid has a potenz hydrogen (pH) level of about 1.0, while WarHeads Sour Spray® and Wonka Fun Dip® Powder have a pH of about 1.6 and 1.8, respectively. Although this isn't as close as it sounds — the pH scale is logarithmic, so a 1.0 is 100 times more acidic than a 2.0 &mash; teeth start to decalcify at a pH of about 4.0, meaning that candy such as Sprees®, Wonka Laffy Taffy® and Lemon Heads® are all acidic enough to damage tooth enamel.

More facts about teeth and pH:

  • Although these products can be damaging to teeth, saliva does act as a buffer and can mitigate some of the effects of the acid.

  • Sour candies aren't the only food products that have highly acidic pH levels. Oranges and grapes both have relatively acidic pH levels, as do fruit juices — particularly lemonade.

  • Acid isn't the only thing that can damage teeth. Eating lots of sugars also can damage tooth enamel. When the sugar is in a person's mouth, it interacts with certain bacteria and damages the structure of tooth enamel. This can lead to decalcification and cavities.

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