A licorice lolly could help prevent tooth decay by killing bacteria and fungus, its developers say.
Medical microbiologist at UCLA Dr Wenyuan Shi partnered with Dr John's Candies and C3 Jian to create a lollypop made from the root of the plant.
He suggested the candy, priced at 50 cents each, could help improve dental health care in the US and combat dental costs.
However it is not a case of "a lollipop a day keeps the dentist away"; Dr Shi recommends
eating two a day for ten days every four months which protects teeth from decay for three to six months at a time.
They could be particularly useful to help with dental care of the young and elderly, he added, and were a complementary regimen to tooth brushing.
A recent study by the University of Michigan revealed that people with poor dental health, manifesting as gum disease, are reluctant to smile.
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