A sugar-free lollipop that actively fights tooth decay has been developed by US scientists.
The revolutionary orange-flavoured sweet – marketed as Dr John’s Herbal Candy – is infused with a liquorice extract that kills the primary bacterium that causes tooth decay.
It’s the brainchild of microbiologist and dentistry Professor Wenyuan Shi from the University of California, Los Angeles School of Dentistry, who claims that just 15mg of liquorice powder per lollipop eliminates 99.9% of Streptococcus mutans.
Prof. Shi collaborated with scientists in China to explore traditional herbs, eventually discovering that liquorice root was one of the most effective, especially as the extract does not kill other bacteria in the mouth necessary for good oral health.
‘In both Chinese and western cultures people chew it for the taste,’ he said. ‘But it also has a lot of good health benefits – it stimulates saliva flow, has anti-bacterial properties and keeps bacteria from adhering to teeth.’
The lollipop was chosen as the ideal sweet for the ingredient because people suck on them, keeping the liquorice extract in the mouth for longer.
The lollipop is available to buy at www.drjohns.com/herbal.htm at a cost of $10 for a pack of 20.
The website recommends that customers:
• Have one lollipop in the morning after breakfast and another before bed; dissolve slowly in mouth
• Repeat for 10 days
• Use the lollipop between two and four times per year to maintain effectiveness, or as directed by your dentist.