Cavity Fighting Candy?

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Cavity Fighting Candy?

Oral Biologists Use Chemistry To Formulate Cavity Fighting Mints

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November 1, 2008 Oral biologists formulated a mint that fights cavities with an ingredient called Cavistat. Cavistat contains two main components that protect the teeth. First, the amino acid arginine metabolizes certain bacteria, which neutralizes the acid generated by sugars. This raises the pH to help prevent damage to teeth. Cavistat also introduces other chemical compounds that protect against the dissolving of the minerals of the teeth.

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Sodas, candy and processed foods are packed with tooth-decaying, cavity-causing sugar. For the past 40 years, experts have seen a decrease in the amount of tooth decay in children; but according to Centers for Disease Control statistics, the trend is reversing. To tackle the problem, one dental scientist has found a way to use candy to help prevent cavities.

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Tooth decay in kids has increased 28 percent in the past eight years. Experts believe too many sugary, processed foods and not enough brushing are to blame. A key factor in fighting cavities is found in your mouth.

"Saliva is the great protector against cavities," said Israel Kleinberg, D.D.S., Ph.D., an oral biologist at Stony Brook University in Stony Brook, N.Y.

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Dr. Kleinberg says 40 years of research and more than $1 billion has been spent trying to figure out what saliva has that fights tooth decay. "I'm one of the pioneers in that as a whole new science," Dr. Kleinberg said. "It's where one mixes dentistry and biochemistry."

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Dr. Kleinberg discovered how saliva's chemistry helps teeth neutralize the acidity created from eating food by balancing the pH levels in the mouth.

"[It’s] like if you've got a swimming pool," Dr. Kleinberg said. "You have got to get the pH right. If you've got a neutral pH, you've got the ideal condition."

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He developed a candy to fight cavities. The candy is fluoride-free and protects teeth in two ways. First, it raise

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s pH levels to neutralize more acid than saliva alone. Second, it protects the minerals in tooth enamel. Arginine, an amino acid, combines with calcium in Cavistat, the candy's main ingredient, and sticks to teeth leaving behind a layer of protection.

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Kids who ate two mints twice a day for one year had 68 percent fewer cavities in their molars than children who didn't chew the mints. "The number of cavities, we think that ultimately is going to get to almost zero," Dr. Kleinberg said.

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That would bring a smile to just about everyone's face. All the ingredients in the mints are natural and considered foods, so the product doesn't need FDA approval.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/videos/2008/1109-cavity_fighting_candy.htm


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