Sticky foods generally have a high sugar content. And regularly eating them increases the risk of tooth decay. This is largely because their sticky residue is not readily washed away by saliva, so the natural bacteria in the mouth can feed on the sugary deposits for longer. This bacterial activity occurs after any eating and drinking and generates an acid which draws minerals from the enamel. For a time after eating, the enamel is therefore more vulnerable to wear or erosion with caries, or decay, as the result.
Most importantly, consider that ‘grazing’ by sucking or chewing one lolly after another over the period of a day, results in an almost continuous acid bath assault on the teeth.
Sticky or acidic foods include:
Honey, jam, chocolate, chewing gum with sugar, chewy candies and toffees. Many people don’t realize that dried fruit is also a sticky food and frequent snacking can cause dental cavities.
You can still enjoy these foods as an occasional treat. Aim to eat them at mealtimes and then pay particular attention to usual brushing afterwards.