Sour lollies damaging kid’s tongues and tooth enamel, CHOICE report
Consumer advocacy group, CHOICE, has found 20 different sour lollies sold in Australia all fall in the danger zone for tooth enamel and have the potential to burn your mouth if not eaten quickly enough.
CHOICE investigated the lollies after receiving complaints that children were suffering burns to their mouth and tongue after consuming the confectionery.
“Obviously you don’t expect lollies to be healthy but you also don’t expect them to harm your child,” said CHOICE Head of Media, Tom Godfrey about the findings.
“Sucking and holding highly acidic lollies against your tongue, cheeks or gums for extended periods of time might cause soft tissue damage,” he stated.
Concern regarding pH levels
CHOICE’s acid test found every sour lolly examined had a pH of less than 3.3, a pH of 5.5 or less is in the danger zone for enamel erosion.
“Irreversible damage to teeth is a real threat from these products,” said Godfrey.
“Under acidic conditions tooth enamel can start to dissolve, and the more acid in the mouth, the harder it is for a person’s saliva to neutralise its effects and protect teeth,” he said.
Among the worse pH level offenders were TNT Mega Sour Grenade (pH 1.83) and Brain Licker Sour Candy Drink (pH 1.94).
“When you consider stomach acid has a pH of about one, sucking on TNT Mega Sour Grenade (pH 1.83) and Brain Licker Sour Candy Drink (pH 1.94) could seem less appealing,” Godfrey said.
In 2003, the UK Food Standards Agency issued a warning for the Brain Licker Sour Candy Drink saying it had received complaints that children were experiencing burns, blisters and bleeding from their tongue after consuming the product.
CHOICE is now advising consumers should limit their intake of sugary and highly acidic foods and drinks.
“At the very least, rinsing with tap water immediately after eating sour lollies will help to neutralize the acids, and minimise the potential for that lolly binge to end on a sour note,” Godfrey said.