For many parents, getting their kids to brush their teeth is almost like pulling teeth. But thanks to some new lollipops, that could soon change. It is not often that you see children licking lollipops during story time, but these lollipops are special. "By age 5 and 6 half of children will have tooth decay, so we need to figure out how we stop that before it starts," said Jackie Tallman, a dental study investigator. So twice a day for three weeks some head start preschoolers are part of a clinical study by Delta Dental to find out if this sweet solution will toughen up their teeth. Tallman said, "Each of the children that has consent will be given a lollipop and they keep it in their mouths for 10 minutes." The lollipops are sugarless and contain a licorice extract proven to prevent dental problems. "Licorice root has been found to target the specific bacteria that causes tooth decay," Tallman said. You are probably wondering are these lollipops really good for your kids, but Delta Dental said all the ingredients in these lollipops are safe. Tallman said, "All the ingredients used are FDA approved, reviewed." Teachers say the program is already getting an A-plus from parents. Judy Kent, a head start teacher said, "All of my parents were really happy to try the program and said that they would love that if that would help and can we get them for home if it helps." The kids give saliva samples before, during and after the study, so researchers can determine how many licks it takes to target tooth decay.
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