We have now seen our third patient in the past few months who has wrecked their dentition with one overwhelming specific cause--overuse of Werther's Original Hard Candies. Thus, I wish to post a warning about this product.
And that warning is: Werther's Original Hard Candies contain sugar! Lots of it. This would seem self-evident, but each patient was totally surprised by the fact, and their surprise may spring from Werther's marketing. "The Classic Candy made with Real Butter and Fresh Cream" is a fine tagline, but we never see the word "sugar," the main ingredient, in there at all.
While it's easy to find Werther's ingredients online, there's a sort of burying of this information in all their marketing messages. And of course nowhere is there any warning like, "This product contains straight sugar; overuse of sugar-containing food products leads to tooth decay."
But that's the truth. Of any food, liquid or solid, that contains refined carbohydrates.
Here are the ingredients in a Werther's Original Hard Candy:
Ingredients: Sugar, Glucose Syrup (from Wheat or Corn), Cream, Condensed Whey, Butter, Cane Sugar Syrup, Salt, Soy Lecithin Emulsifier, Artificial Flavor.
Translation: Sugar, sugar, milky sugar, more milky sugar, butter, sugar, salt, chemicals, chemicals and sugar.
I mean, damn. It's like the beloved old Monty Python Spam skit, only with sugar.
Please, please, folks, if you enjoy Werther's, or Life Savers, or hard candies of any kind, watch the frequency! Have them once a day. Each and every time you put a miniature hockey puck made of sugar into your mouth, you're bathing your teeth in sugars and acids for the entire time the thing takes to dissolve, plus about half an hour afterwards. Thus, the nightmare scenario for your teeth is to pop another one in every hour or so. Or right before you fall asleep. Your teeth never get a chance to recover from the acids. They WILL rot out of your head. It's only a matter of time.
This may sound like an odd warning to many, but each of these patients said the exact same thing once we identified that hard candies were the cause of the destruction in their mouths:
"Oh! I carry a bag of them around with me everywhere."
Words to send a shiver down every dentist's spine.
In the photos, the red arrows point to the serious cavities (darker areas on the images) that were caused, so far as I can tell, by interviewing each patient in detail about their diet, mainly by the overuse of one product--in these cases, Werther's Original Hard Candies.
Please, folks. Use any and all hard sugar candies sparingly and infrequently. Certainly never more than twice a day outside of mealtimes. And when it comes to cough drops--only use them while you actually suffer from a cough, not after it has passed.