Can Lollipops fight tooth decay?

A US study conducted in Michigan among children ages 2-5, has revealed that a liquorice lollipop can reduce the bacteria associated with tooth decay.
In the study, 66 pre-school students were given a lollipop that contained liquorice root extract for 10 minutes twice daily for three weeks.
The researchers used a saliva test to measure the level of S. mutans in each child's mouth before and during the three-week study, as well as for several weeks after the children stopped getting the lollipops.
The investigators found a significant reduction in S. mutans during the study, and the reduction lasted for an additional 22 days before the organisms began to rebound.
Liquorice root extract (Glycyrrhiza uralensis) is believed to kill S. mutans, which is just one of an estimated 700 types of bacteria found in the human mouth. Although most of the bacteria are harmless, S. mutans survives in plaque and releases acid that causes tooth decay.
Jacqueline Tallman, RDH, BS, MPA, the study's principal investigator, said that the findings of the study involving the use of the liquorice lollipops in the 66 pre-school children are 'important not only for dental caries prevention research but also demonstrates the feasibility of a classroom protocol using a unique delivery system suitable for young children'.

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