Sweet Rewards: Lollipops and Gum…Good for Teeth?

November 18, 2011 at 4:54 am 4 comments

Dr. John's Candies, Herbal Lollipops

It’s possible – lollipops may be good for teeth. Sixty-six preschool students ages 2 to 5 sucked on lollipops twice a day for three weeks to show it’s so. A recent pilot study was funded by the Research and Data Institute of affiliate Delta Dental companies, and the lollipops were not your everyday lollipops. They were sugar-free and contained licorice root extract. The study’s findings, published by the European Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, showed that licorice root extract might be an ingredient to help reduce cavity-causing bacteria.

While the Blow Pops sold at the corner market don’t quality, the orange-flavored lollipops used in the study aren’t hard to come by. They’re called Dr. John’s Cavity Fighting Herbal Lollipops and are available online for $10 a pack.

Next on the line-up of surprisingly sweet rewards is sugar-free chewing gum. In addition to promoting saliva production, which dilutes mouth acids and washes away food debris, sugar-free gum is now widely available with the ingredient, xylitol. Xylitol is a sweetener that comes from the fibers of fruits, vegetables, and other plants, so even though it sounds like a geeky lab creation, it’s all-natural.

According to the California Dental Association, the bacteria that causes cavities can’t use xylitol to grow and over time with xylitol use, the quantity of decay-causing bacteria in the mouth actually decreases, leading to less plaque and fewer cavities. Makes it quite a candidate for replacing cane sugar.

Xylitol is found in mints as well as gum, but should be present in high concentration levels to prevent decay. Often, this means it is shown first on the list of ingredients and is the only sweetener in your candy. If you’re looking for a xylitol-powered sweet reward, our recommendations include Spry Mints and Zellies Gum.


Entry filed under: Dental Care, Nutrition, Parent Tips, Wellness. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , .

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