A sugar-free, licorice lollipop can reduce Streptococcus mutans bacteria in the mouth that cause tooth decay, University of Michigan researchers found. In the study, 66 children between the ages of 2 and 5 sucked on a lollipop containing licorice root extract for 10 minutes twice daily for three weeks. Saliva tests showed a significant drop in S. mutans levels that lasted for 22 days after the study's conclusion. Results are published in the European Academy of Paediatric Dentistry.

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