With a breakthrough that will finally help Halloween top Christmas as the best holiday ever, scientists at the Berlin-based biotech lab Organo Balance claim to have developed a candy that doesn't cause cavities. You'll still get sick and pack on the pounds from gorging on sweets, but if you forget to brush your teeth, your chompers won't rot out of your head.
So how is this even possible? It turns out that tooth decay and cavities are actually caused by a bacteria in food called Streptococcus mutans that attaches to the surface of your teeth and then slowly releases an acid that dissolves away the enamel. And just like Bizarro has Superman to balance his evil exploits, it turns out there's another type of bacteria called Lactobacillus paracasei that has a sugar on its surface that binds to the Streptococcus mutans, preventing it from attaching itself to teeth. So by engineering a candy featuring a dead version of Lactobacillus paracasei—so it doesn't cause any harm itself but still sticks to the bad bacteria—the researchers found the level of Streptococcus mutans inside the mouths of test subjects to be greatly reduced, minimizing the risk of cavities.
It doesn't mean you still shouldn't brush and floss regularly, but telling kids "you'll rot your teeth out" might not carry the same weight it used to. [Organo Balance via Medical Xpress]
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