Why do you get cavities? It’s not because your teeth are soft. Cavities happen in mouths where the environment is all jacked up. Too much acid, too many germs, an abundance of refined foods, too little saliva. Basically the little ecosystem in your mouth is out of whack.
How do you get it back in balance? You already know some things you can do: eat better, brush and floss better, drink water. Sometimes, though that’s not enough. What do you do between meals? Between brushing?
You change the mouth itself by changing what can grow in there.
One way is with licorice:
No, that doesn’t count, sorry. It has to be real, tar-black, sugarless licorice. Real licorice contains licorice extract (unfortunately, that’s the stuff that makes it taste way worse than Red Vines). The way that licorice fights cavities is by changing the mouth environment so that the germs that cause cavities are inhibited.
Licorice roots have been around ever since the original hunters and gatherers realized they were sweet-ish, quenched thirst, and tasted much better than most of the other twigs and sticks they used to dig around in their gums and teeth. Maybe they realized their teeth hurt less when they chewed on them, too. Licorice roots contain a compound called glycyrrhizin, which has been proven to reduce tooth decay. They’re cheap, natural, and abundant; you can even buy them here at this link on Amazon.com. But a word of caution: glycyrrhizin can be dangerous in excess amounts. Since licorice root is considered a natural herb, there’s no way for the FDA to regulate the dosage, and too much of it can cause heart arrhythmias, increase blood pressure, and reduce potassium levels.
If your response to black licorice and licorice roots are No, and Hell No, respectively, then how in the heck do you think you’re going to get kids to put licorice extract in their mouths?
Enter capitalism at its finest, folks.
When this company contacted me about a year ago, I was excited to
eat free candy write a product review about something that may really help my patients prevent cavities. Remember what I was saying about licorice? Cavibloc™ is the proprietary formulation of licorice extract used in Loloz™ that you can read on their ingredient list here:
How this works
I’ve seen enough studies and listened to tons of lectures from smart people who know what they’re talking about to be convinced that the science is very strong behind using licorice extract in this way to prevent dental cavities. Here’s the biggest problem about it, though: it doesn’t work if you don’t use it, duh. Follow the steps below to get started on this great cavity prevention regimen:
1. Overcome your objections. Just so you know, I’ve eaten practically a whole box of the berry flavored pops, given them to my kids and friends of my kids, and they taste good. Really good. No problem on the flavor at all. Also, it will cost about $90/year for three boxes. Those are the big obstacles. Everything after this is easy.
2. Buy your boxes at Amazon.com. Lookie, it even comes with Amazon Prime! Here are your flavor choices (and by the way, these are NOT affiliate links – I’m not making any money off of this, just in case you doubt my sincerity):
For people who aren’t into the whole “stick hanging out of your mouth” thing, there are candy lozenges, too:
3. Open up your box when it arrives.
You’ll get 20 suckers per box… but maybe they’ll throw in a few for a bonus, with a note to let you know they didn’t count wrong. Maybe eat one of the extra ones as soon as you get them, to make sure you’re going to like them. Then…
4. Put them in the car. What? Following the recommended regimen is the most important part. It takes about 10 days of consecutive exposure time for licorice extract to disrupt the germs that cause cavities. And not just once per day. Two times per day for ten days. You’ll want to have one sucker in the morning, one in the evening. But how do you remember to have two per day? You and your kids (if you take them to school and/or work) are in your car at least twice per day. Maybe you don’t actually leave the lollipops in the car because they may get icky gooey on hot days. But you know what I mean. Discipline yourself to make sure you’re using them two times per day.
5. Repeat in 4 months. You’ll do this about three times per year for excellent cavity control, plus you get to feel good about eating candy. Whee! Over time, the bad bacteria will start creeping back in, but starting up another 10-day treatment in 3 to 4 months will help balance out the mouth environment once again. People who get cavities easily need licorice root extract. It’s just that simple. If you’ve ever been given a prescription for high fluoride toothpaste, Loloz are for you.
So you may be asking yourself, why no one else is talking about this, why there might not be a lot of Amazon reviews on Loloz, it must not be any good, right? No, that’s not it. The company made a big push a year ago to get the word out, but marketing these days is a tricky thing for new companies. I am confident that the product is spot-on, and I’m here to reinforce again to you that balancing your mouth environment is one of the most important things you can do to prevent cavities. There are other ways to reduce tooth decay, but right now Loloz are your best bet for obtaining a proven, long-term, dose-controlled antimicrobial effect against decay-causing bacteria. And if you’re a dentist or hygienist who is thinking about recommending this to your patients, remember:
COMPLIANCE IS EVERYTHING!
…She says, with a delicious, sugar-free Loloz lollipop in her mouth.
Trish Walraven RDH, BSDH is a mom and practicing dental hygienist in the suburbs of Dallas, Texas. She has a very, very bad sweet tooth and doesn’t take money from companies like Loloz because she’s afraid they would give her a lifetime supply of sugarless candy which would be no fun because, hey, if it’s good for you, the days of living dangerously from sugar highs just go phhhht. gone.
Resources and References:
International Journal of Pharma and Bio Sciences, January 2015. “Assessing the effectiveness of liquorice root extract lollopop in reducing the S. mutans count in saliva in children aged 6-12 yrs – a pilot study.” http://www.ijpbs.net/cms/php/upload/4020_pdf.pdf
European Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, December 2010. “Clinical reduction of S. mutans in pre-school children using a novel liquorice root extract lollipop: a pilot study.” http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21108917
Medscape, January 2012. “Licorice Root May Cut Cavities, Gum Disease.” http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/756532
John C. Comisi, DDS, MAGD, April 2013. “Employing a whole-patient approach to the lifelong struggle of caries management.” http://www.dentalaegis.com/id/2013/04/oral-disease-the-battle-for-balance
British Dental Journal, December 2009. “Liquorice Alert.” http://www.nature.com/bdj/journal/v207/n11/full/sj.bdj.2009.1090.html