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Healthy Candy

To hear that a candy is beneficial to our teeth seems as counter-intuitive as eating bacon for breakfast to fend off heart disease. In fact, a German company, called Organobalance, recently developed a sugar-free candy they claim can reduce the “bad” bacteria in the mouth, a healthy move for those who cannot stay away from confections. The research study showed that a majority of the participants who ate the specified candy had reduced the levels of bad oral bacteria in their mouths.

Good and bad bacteria in the mouth

We all have both good and bad bacteria present in our mouth. These bacteria can be responsible for sweet or unpleasant breath or even cavities. An example of these harmful bacteria is a bacterium called Streptococcus mutans. If on the tooth long enough, they turn the normal healthy oral flora into an acidic environment. The acidic pH can play an important factor in breaking down the tooth enamel eventually causing easier staining and ultimately tooth decay.

The candy study

Sixty subjects were part of the study that attempted to determine whether eating a certain type of bacteria called l. paracasei, as a part of the sugar-free candy, would reduce the levels of bad oral bacteria. Three groups were involved, with the first receiving candy with 1 gram of the l. paracasei, the second group receiving double that amount (2 grams) and the third group receiving a placebo, with no bacteria. None of the participants brushed their teeth during the study, nor were they allowed to drink coffee, tea, wine or any probiotic foods such as yogurt, which could have altered the results of the study.

At the end of the study, 75% of the subjects who ate the candy with the good bacteria had a lower level of the harmful bacteria present. In patients who received 2 grams of l.paracase researchers noted a decreased level of the Streptoccocus mutans bacterium in the saliva, suggesting a benefit of that particular candy.

Though these are promising results, unfortunately this “ healthy candy” is not available for sale in the US yet, but stay tuned for more news on this tooth saving candy.