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Enhanced Gummy Bears Fight Cavities

Study Shows That Gummy Bears Made With Xylitol Reduced Cavity-Causing Bacteria
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WebMD Health News

July 24, 2008 -- Researchers have tested gummy bears made with a sugar substitute that wards off cavity-causing bacteria.

A study in Washington State gathered 154 first to fifth graders from two elementary schools. The students were given four gummy bears made with either xylitol or maltitol (types of sugars used in many types of sugarless chewing gum) three times a day during school hours.

All were checked for plaque and bacteria in their mouths at the start of the study and six weeks later.

After six weeks, there was a "significant" reduction in the main bacteria buildup associated with cavities for the children who snacked on the xylitol and maltitol candy.

Study lead author Kiet A. Ly with the University of Washington says in a news release that gummy bears may have the edge over gum.

"For xylitol to be successfully used in oral health promotion programs among primary school children, an effective means of delivering xylitol must be identified," Ly says. "Gummy bears would seem to be more ideal than chewing gum."

The gummy bears made with xylitol used in the study are not available on the U.S. market at this time. Study authors now urge a large clinical trial.

In background information published with the findings, study authors write that chewing gum made with these sugars are widely available in Europe, China, and Japan. Finland has a national campaign in place called "Smart Habits" for children, which uses xylitol products to reduce tooth decay.

The findings are published in the journal BMC Oral Health.

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Only 18.5% of Americans never floss. You are missing out on a simple way to make a big difference in the health of your mouth. Regardless of how well you brush, plaque still forms between your teeth and along your gums. Floss removes food trapped between the teeth and removes the film of bacteria that forms there before it turns to plaque, which can cause inflamed gums (gingivitis), cavities, and tooth loss. Try flossing just one tooth to get started.

You are one of 31% of Americans who don't floss daily. You are missing out on a simple way to make a big difference in the health of your mouth. Regardless of how well you brush, plaque still forms between your teeth and along your gums. Toothbrush bristles alone cannot clean effectively between these tight spaces. Flossing removes up to 80% of the film that hardens to plaque, which can cause inflamed gums (gingivitis), cavities, and tooth loss. Aim for 3 more days!

You are one of 31% of Americans who don't floss daily, but you're well on your way to making a positive impact on your teeth and gums. Regardless of how well you brush, plaque still forms between your teeth and along your gums. Toothbrush bristles alone cannot clean effectively between these tight spaces. Flossing removes up to 80% of the film that hardens to plaque, which can cause inflamed gums (gingivitis), cavities, and tooth loss. Aim for all 7 days!

Only 50.5% of Americans floss daily, and good for you that you are one of them! Regardless of how well you brush, plaque still forms between your teeth and along your gums. Toothbrush bristles alone cannot clean effectively between these tight spaces. Flossing removes up to 80% of the film that hardens to plaque, which can cause inflamed gums (gingivitis), cavities, and tooth loss. Congratulations on your good oral health habit!

SOURCES:

American Dental Association, Healthy People 2010

This tool is intended only for adults 18 and older.

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