The stickier the candy, the worse it tends to be for your teeth. Extra-chewy candies—like taffy, caramels, or Jujyfruits—stick to (and between) teeth for a long time, allowing the bacteria in our mouths to feast leisurely on the deposited sugar. “Bacteria burns sugar to make acid, which dissolves the protective layer of tooth enamel and causes cavities,” Messina explains.
Candies that are chewy, sugary, and acidic—a category that includes many “sour” varieties—deliver a “triple whammy of negatives,” Messina adds, because they carry their own payload of erosive acid, in addition to that produced by the interaction of sugar and bacteria.
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