The erosive potential of jawbreakers, a type of hard candy

The erosive potential of jawbreakers, a type of hard candy

International Journal of Dental Hygiene

Published Online: 19 Mar 2010

Int J Dent Hygiene
DOI: 10.1111/j.1601-5037.2010.00450.x
Brand HS, Gambon DL, van Dop LF, van Liere LE, Veerman ECI.


Objectives: To explore the consumption pattern of a specific type of acidic solid candy, the so-called jawbreakers, by primary school children and determine the erosive potential of this type of candy in vivo.

Methods: A questionnaire about jawbreaker consumption was distributed among 10–12 year-old-children (n = 302). Subsequently, 19 healthy volunteers tested four different jawbreakers in vivo. Whole saliva was collected 5 min before, 3 min during and 11 min after consumption. Salivary flow rate and pH were determined.

Results: Two-thirds of the children reported a history of jawbreaker consumption, 18% during the last week. More than half of the children estimated their average time for consumption of one jawbreaker to be more than 15 min. In vivo, the jawbreakers induced 8.6–13.9-fold increase in salivary flow rate. Sucking on sour, jumbo and strawberry jawbreakers induced a drop in salivary pH to values below pH 5.5. During consumption of fireball jawbreakers, the intra-oral pH hardly changed.

Conclusions: Jawbreakers are frequently used by children, who keep this candy in their mouth for a long time. Jawbreakers differ considerable in erosive potential, with sour and jumbo jawbreakers > strawberry jawbreaker >> fireball jawbreaker. This information is of use for dental hygienists counselling juvenile patients with dental erosion.


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