Science Friday: Can Gum and Hard Candy Help Prevent Cavities?

Science Friday: Can Gum and Hard Candy Help Prevent CavitiesAs reported in Science Daily News, the American Dental Association (ADA) Council on Scientific Affairs assembled a multi-disciplinary expert panel to provide recommendations on nonfluoride options that could provide an extra benefit to prevent cavities in dental patients at high risk for developing cavities.

In its report the panel revealed that sugar-free chewing gum, lozenges and hard candy including xylitol or polyol combinations, and a prescription varnish with chlorhexidine and thymol could be beneficial in preventing cavities when used in conjunction with a comprehensive cavity prevention program which includes the use of fluoride-containing products.

The scientific panel further recommended that dentists consider applying a mixture of cholrhexidine-thymol varnish to the teeth of high-risk adults and the elderly every three months to reduce cavities developing in the root of the tooth.

The panel also encouraged dentists to consider advising parents and caregivers of healthy children older than 5 years who are at higher risk for cavities to chew sugar-free polyol gum after meals for 10 to 20 minutes to prevent cavities.

The ADA report is available on their Center for Evidence-Based Dentistry website at The executive summary of the report is published in the September issue of The Journal for the American Dental Association.

For more on this story see: Sugar-Free Polyol Gum, Lozenges, Hard Candy: Nonfluoride Varnishes Help Prevent Cavities, Study Finds

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