The first problem with sticky food:
They generally have a high sugar content because it’s sugar that gives them their stickiness!
These foods are considered a special category of sweets because their sticky residue is not readily washed away by the normal action of saliva. This means the bacteria natually found in the mouth feed on their concentrated sugary deposits for longer.
The second problem:
Oral bacteria produce acids as they digest sugars. This occurs also after eating healthy foods, but not for a prolonged time. Sticky residue means a longer acid wash for the teeth , drawing minerals out and weakening the enamel.
Normally about 20 minutes after eating, the mineral content in enamel is restored in a process known as remineralisation. It’s not difficult to see that ‘grazing’ by sucking or chewing one lolly after another over the period of a day, results in an almost continuous acidic assault on the teeth.
This is how regualr snacking on sticky foods increases the risk of tooth decay.
Sticky foods include:
Honey, jam, chocolate, chewing gum with sugar, chewy candies and toffees. Many people don’t realise that dried fruit – long considered a healthy snack – is also a sticky food and frequent snacking can cause dental problems.
Enjoy these foods as an occasional treat. Aim to eat them at mealtimes, rinse or drink plenty of water. Later on, pay particular attention to brushing.