Sour candies are popular enough to have spawned urban legends. Which is why I was suspicious of a recent press release that says dentists are warning that sour candies are as harsh as battery acid on your tooth enamel.

Really? Battery acid? That’s what the dentists say. “I have noted a dramatic increase in the number of cavities and loss of luster [shine] of the teeth, erosion and tooth sensitivity for children and both young and mature adults who consume this ‘sour acid sugar candy’ regularly,” dental hygienist Erika Feltham tells the Fallbrook Village News. “It does not take a lot of this kind of candy to be potentially destructive.”

The candies are popular with adults as well as kids, and have spawned such “extreme” varieties as Toxic Waste, which comes in a container shaped like a drum of toxic waste, and Warheads and Warheads Spray.

They’ve also given birth to a somewhat creepy breed of videos where kids are fed sour candies and their reactions are filmed, a subgenre of the “kids do the darndest things and I’m going to laugh at them” videos.

Video evidence to the contrary, Snopes tells us that kids have a higher tolerance for sour tastes than adults. This means they may keep the candies in their mouths for a longer time, leading to greater tooth decay.

The obvious lesson? Feed them lemons instead.

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