What causes us to end up with cavities? Some people think it’s because our teeth are too soft, but the real cause is the environment we create inside our mouth. When we have an overabundance of acid, refined foods, germs and not enough saliva, cavities can begin to form. This is because the ecosystem within us is not in a healthy balance. While doing some research on this topic, I stumbled across the website of a Patchogue Dentist that provided lots of helpful information.

So how can we straighten things up in there? If you’ve been to the doctor at least once, you already know the basics. We can brush and floss more consistently, drink water and eat healthier. Sometimes this isn’t enough though. What can we do between brushing? One thing you can do is change what is able to grow inside of your mouth.

Licorice actually helps to do this.

We mean the boring, sugarless black licorice. Red vines will only add to the sugar in your mouth.

Licorice roots have been used by humans ever since the first men discovered that they were slightly sweet and a thirst quencher. Perhaps they noticed that their teeth wouldn’t hurt after they chewed on them as well. Licorice roots have a compound within them known as glycyrrhizin. Glycyrrhizin is proven to reduce tooth decay in humans. They’re natural, cheap, and you can buy them online. However, we do have one word of caution. Licorice roots are considered a natural herb by the FDA, so they are unable to regulate a proper dose. Glycyrrhizin can cause unwanted side effects in large doses such as increased blood pressure, reduced potassium levels, and heart arrhythmias. So be sure to chew on the licorice roots a little bit at a time and only once every few days.

If you’re a parent looking to help prevent cavities in children, they’re probably going to be averse to chewing on licorice roots. When all is said and done, they taste a lot more like sticks than licorice.

Fortunately, there are some lollipops on the market that contain pure licorice extract and stevia to give them a sweet flavor. These lollipops can be purchased on Amazon and do serve as a great alternative if you live in an area without fluoride. Cavity-fighting lollipops are a great, easy to eat treat for adults and kids alike. Most formulas on the market today suggest having them twice a day for ten days. I kept mine in my car because the kids and I are always together in the car twice a day. I would give the kids  a lollipop in the morning on the way to school and again when I picked them up after school.

How Does This Work?

Glycyrrhizin actively works to disrupt the production of cavity-causing germs in your mouth. Some cavity-causing germs take hold in our mouths when we aren’t drinking enough water, or when we eat unhealthy foods. Glycyrrhizin creates an environment that fends off these germs and doesn’t allow them to multiply in our mouths.