Wake Up Call

Scientists Have Invented Candy That Won't Give You Cavities

We're more than a little bitter that this scientific breakthrough had to come so long after our childhood ended. And our parents probably are, too, because all those fillings couldn't have been cheap.

Scientists at Berlin-based biotech lab Organo Balance say they've invented candy that won't give you cavities. Or at least will significantly decrease the risk of getting them.

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So how does this witchcraft work? Well, it starts with the fact that tooth decay and cavities aren't caused by sugar exactly, but by bacteria -- specifically by a bacteria called Streptococcus mutans, which is found in food. The bacteria attach to the surface of your teeth and break down the enamel causing cavities.

But researchers knew that another bacteria exists that can reduce levels of Streptococcus mutans. That bacertia is called Lactobacillus paracasei. It has sugar on its surface that binds to the bad bacteria, stopping it from attaching to teeth.

The researchers developed a candy that contains a dead version of the good bacteria -- so that it doesn't cause any harm itself. After testing the good-bacteria-bearing candy on a number of subjects' mouths, the scientists found levels of Streptococcus mutans to be greatly reduced, therefore minimizing the risk of cavities.

So hand us that candy cane.

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Lauren Saria
Contact: Lauren Saria