How Candy May Improve (Yes, Improve!) Your Teeth

By Dr. Robert Sunstein,

Orthodontist in Carmel Valley & La Jolla

“Brush your teeth!” “Don’t forget to floss!” This is the advice you expect to hear from your dentist. What you don’t expect your dentist to tell you is “eat more candy.” That, however, might change. According to

Medical News Today

, Berlin-based firm Organobalance GmbH, Germany has developed a sugar-free candy that might reduce cavities.

Cavities are caused by the bacteria left on our teeth after we eat. This “bad” bacteria can dissolve our tooth enamel. However, researchers have found another bacteria, a “good” bacteria, that has shown to reduce levels of cavity-causing bacteria, and believe that when the good bacteria binds with the bad bacteria it prevents the bad bacteria from reattaching to the teeth.

To test this theory, the research team created a sugar-free candy that contained heat-killed samples of the good bacteria. They tested their theory in a pilot trial involving 60 subjects. One-third of the subjects ate candies with 1mg. of the good bacteria, another third ate candies with 2mg., and the last third ate candies that contained no bacteria.

Results showed that nearly 75% of the participants who ate candies with the good bacteria had “significantly lower” levels of the bad bacteria in their saliva than before, compared with the control group. The subjects who ate candy with 2 mg of the good bacteria had a reduction in bad bacteria levels after eating only one piece of candy.

The sugar-free candies also stimulate saliva flow, which benefits oral health. Poor oral health has been linked to many conditions, from Alzheimer’s disease to pancreatic cancer, to cardiovascular disease.

Good oral health does depend on clean teeth, but the health of your teeth and gums can be seriously compromised by crooked, crowded or protruding teeth, or poorly aligned jaws. It is difficult to properly brush crooked and crowded teeth, which can increase the risk of cavities. Poorly aligned teeth and jaws can result in a non-functional bite, which can wear down your teeth and the supporting bones, which might lead to tooth loss. Poorly aligned teeth and jaws can also cause gum irritation.

If you have any of these conditions that could compromise your oral health, please call our Carmel Valley office at (858) 755-1551 or in La Jolla at (858) 459-3353. You can also visit us on the web at