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How Many Licks Does it Take to Reduce Tooth Decay?
Date:9/9/2008

test, the amount of S. mutans and Lactobacillus casei in the patients' mouths is measured before and during lollipop use, as well as for several weeks afterward. All personal identifying information is removed from the samples before they are sent for analysis.

"We know good oral health is inextricably linked to overall health," Jacobson said. "With these studies, we hope to find simple, effective regimens that will encourage prevention and control of dental disease in nursing home residents and children."

The second study kicks off this week at the Head Start and Early Childhood Programs division of Lansing, Mich.-based Capital Area Community Services, Inc. A group of 100 preschool students ages 3 to 5 enrolled in the Head Start program will receive a lollipop for 10 minutes twice daily for three weeks.

"The study will examine the practicality of this delivery system in a classroom setting and hopefully establish a model that can be replicated," said Jacqueline Tallman, R.D.H., B.S., M.P.A., principal investigator of the study. "Three to 5 years of age is an important time in children's oral health development and there is a strong need for new prevention measures."

The first study started last month at nursing homes operated by Beaumont Hospital in the Detroit area. Forty nursing home patients will be participating in the study. For three weeks, half will be given the herbal lollipops twice a day and half will be given placebo lollipops.

"Although many people are keeping most of their teeth as they age, dental decay remains a common cause of tooth pain, infection, and tooth loss in the elderly," said Domenica Sweier, D.D.S., Ph.D., clinical assistant professor, University of Michigan School of Dentistry and consultant to the study. "An affordable means to prevent these oral health problems may be to reduce the bacteria that cause decay through a simple routine easily incorporated into a patient's schedule. This cutting-edge rese
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SOURCE Delta Dental's Research and Data Institute
Copyright©2008 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

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