As a child I remember my parents telling me not to overload on Halloween candy because it would rot my teeth and land me in the dentist’s chair. They preached the same thing year-round, too. And I even (although vaguely) remember my dentist giving me the lecture as well. It wasn’t like I had any more of a raging sweet tooth than any other kid. It’s just one of those things that parents do.
So it seems totally counterintuitive that a candy—yes, candy, you read that right—can actually impede cavities as opposed to creating them.
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A fourth-grade girl living in Michigan created Zollipops, a healthy lollipop. Unlike other lollipops out there, Alina Morse’s lollis (which happens to be her favorite type of candy) are void of sugar and gluten and totally GMO-free. And, they purportedly reduce tooth decay and cavities by balancing out the pH levels in your mouth. Instead of using sugar as a sweetener, Zollipops contain more natural alternatives to sugar like stevia and xylitol.
“The ingredients of this product do have several advantages, especially compared to sugar-containing products,” says Atlanta cosmetic dentist Ronald Goldstein, DDS. “However, in order to really determine its efficacy, we would need to see the pH levels of it. Consumers need to make sure that the product does not contribute to acid erosion of the enamel because lollipops remain in the mouth for extended times. The problem is that there has been no university-backed study to verify the claims made by the company, so the proof will need to wait until this happens.”
As if it weren’t enough for an 11-year-old to start her own candy company, she has plans to expand the brand with Zaffi Taffy, a taffy version of her lollipops.