As a lifelong candy devotee, I’ve heard it all, including, “I’ll bet your dentist is going to like that candy even more than you do!” Truth be told, I’m no stranger to cavities. And truth be told again, I’m sure at least some of them were caused by candy consumption. But as I got older and heeded my mother’s dental advice more closely, those cavities became fewer and further between. Turned out she was right about proper brushing, flossing and rinsing!
Of course, good oral care benefits you in more ways than cavity prevention, though that is an important one. That said, there is hope on the horizon for us sweets-loving ladies and gents who don’t always remember to brush after snacking, which I came across in the article Science! New candy fights cavities.
Researchers in Berlin have been hard at work producing a mint that contains Lactobacillus paracasei, a “probiotic found in dairy products such as yogurt and kefir.” This probiotic has been found to “prevent the growth of Streptococcus mutans, a bacteria that sticks to the lining of teeth and produces acids that dissolve enamel.” 75% of the fortunate volunteers of the experiment that centered around eating mints containing the probiotic over a 2-day period “had lower levels of Streptococci mutans in their saliva than they had the previous day.” In other words – yay!
Research is new, the test was short and limited to just 60 people, and there is still a lot of experimentation to be done before it will be clear how big or small this news really is. But as someone who has firsthand felt the benefits of incorporating more probiotics into my diet, I am quite excited and optimistic! As most of us are aware, there are good bacteria and bad bacteria, and adding this good bacteria to the candy we love could help us cut down on the bad bacteria eating sweets can breed, without the need for harsh rinses. If they need new volunteers for the next round, I hope they call me!