Dental epidemic: The power of Sour, part 2

Updated: Saturday, August 3 2013, 02:54 PM CDT
Dental epidemic: The power of Sour, part 2 story image


There is a dental epidemic among kids, from toddlers to teens.


Sour candy has become a popular treat.


But as Channel Three' S Kathryn Daniel reports,


The effects can be devastating to teeth.


Pediatric dentist, Stu Bonnin, says, about a year ago, a different type of tooth trouble began for his patients.


"Erosion patterns on the teeth is not what we'd normally see with a cavity. It's in places where you don't get cavities."


Bonnin's own grandson, Briceson, showed signs.


"I knew he had some areas of erosion on four of his teeth, but to see it on eight of his teeth in a six month span, I said we need to do something."


The culprit, sour candy.


Bonnin says it's the hottest candy craze in decades, and the most damaging.


"Seeing three children a day that have acid erosion and maybe two a week where it's very severe."


Water is a neutral substance with a ph level of seven. Bonnin's set up a display to show parents the different kinds of sour candies along with their acidity level. The lower the number, the higher the acid content.


He says watch for ingredients like citric and malic acids.


"Every time you have an acid attack on your teeth, it removes some of the enamel."


One of the most popular sour candies is the sour spray, and with a ph level of 1.6, you might as well eat battery acid.


"When parents find this out, they tell me, they had no idea."


Briceon's permanent teeth have sealants, so they aren't damaged.


His baby teeth do have a lot of erosion.


"I don't want all my teeth to fall out and have to have dentures."



Bonnin says since enamel does not grow back, some patients have had to have expensive veneers put on, plus, eroded areas, hurt.


"Eventually, you lose enough enamel where it's very sensitive. We've had some children that can't eat ice cream any more cause it's too painful for their teeth."



Bonnin says he'd like to see warning labels on the packages, and for them to be placed with parents in mind.


"The really bad ones I find are not at eye level of adults. They're down at children's eye level. So you've got to get to their level and to see what they're seeing."



If you have a sour candy connoisseur in your family, Bonnin says push water, instead of the toothbrush.


"Brushing right away just removes more of the enamel faster so we want it to kind of rinse away."



Kathryn Daniel, Channel Three News.

Dental epidemic: The power of Sour, part 2
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