ZOLLIPOPS DENTIST REVIEW
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Zollicandy is a brand of confectionary created by a young woman called Alina Morse. She wanted a candy that tasted great but didn’t ruin teeth. So she collaborated with various dentists to create teeth-friendly lollipops called Zollipops.
Zollipops v Lollipops
The important difference between Zollipops and lollipops is that lollipops are classed as cariogenic (they cause tooth decay), whereas, Zollipops are anti-cariogenic (they prevent tooth decay).
Most types of candy have high sugar content and we know that sugar promotes tooth decay. This is because the bacteria that live in dental plaque ingest simple carbohydrates and they produce acid. And this acid is what weakens tooth enamel and allows decay of the tooth structure to begin. Varieties of candy also can be acidic in nature, we can have sour or fruit-flavored candies that are acidic and that brings the pH in the mouth down to an easier level for bacteria to create cavities because it’s already acidic. They don’t have to produce as much acid to cause decay on the tooth.
Most lollipops are made from sugar. water, extracts, and flavorings. The problem ingredient in lollipops is sugar which we know plays an important role in the formation of tooth decay. The bacteria that form the clear layer of plaque on our teeth love free sugars. They readily break down sugar into acids that attack teeth enamel and cause cavities.
Lollipops in particular can be a little more dangerous for causing cavities than other forms of candy. They are designed to be held in the mouth and sucked for an extended period of time. Children love to just hang on to a lollipop for as long as possible. That length of time is important because it’s the amount of time that you’re exposing your mouth to the sugar in a lollipop. If you were to eat a lollipop as quickly as you eat a candy bar, It would not be as harmful to teeth. It’s the fact that we tend to prolong our exposure to sugar because of the way that we eat lollipops.
Although Zollipops taste sweet just like lollipops, they do not contain sugar. All of Zollicandy’s sweets use non-sugar sweeteners from the alcohol-sugar family. Despite their name, sugar alcohols, do not contain either sugar or alcohol. They are a form of carbohydrate called polyols which can be either derived naturally from plants or manufactured from sugars and starches. Sugar alcohols include xylitol, erythritol, isomalt, malitol, mannitol, lactitol, and sorbitol.
Sugar alcohols have certain beneficial characteristics that have made them popular ingredients in many health food and pharmaceutical products. These benefits include –
- Sugar alcohols contain less calories per gram compared to sugar. This makes them benificial in weight management programs.
- Compared to sugar, alcohol sugars have less of an impact on bloood sugar levels. This can make them useful in controling diabetes parameters.
- Unlike sugar, alcohol sugars can’t be processed by cavity-causing bacteria like mutans streptococci. Exposure to alcohol sugar can help control plaque growth and directly inhibit the bacteria’s ability to metabolize these type of carbohydtates and produce the acid that damages tooth enamel.
The strawberry Zollipops featured in this review contain erythritol and Isomalt. Both these ingredients are non-cariogenic meaning that they won’t cause cavities. The FDA acknowledges the health benefits of carbohydrate sweeteners like erythritol and Isomalt and allows manufacturers like Zollicandy to make certain claims on their packaging. So it would be acceptable for Zollicady to make the claim that Zollipops ” May reduce the risk of cavities”.
But erythritol especially could be termed anti-cariogenic in that it has properties that can actively prevent caries.
How Do Zollipops Clean Teeth?
One of the marketing tag lines of Zollipops is that they are clean teeth pops. Now that can be misunderstood to think that the lollipop itself is cleaning your teeth. Technically, that’s not true.
How Zollipops work to promote good oral health is the sugar alcohols they contain are effective at inhibiting the growth of Streptococcus mutans, which is the bacteria causing cavities. And so whenever you use these sweet treats as a snack or as an adjunct to your meals, they can lower the risk for cavities. Certainly, if you substitute Zollipops for other sugar-containing candies, the risk for cavities is much reduced. And so Zollipops are a great option.
However, we don’t want to misinterpret the phrase clean teeth pops to mean that they actually clean your teeth. They are not going to be a substitute for brushing or flossing your teeth. They do not remove dental plaque in enough themselves. Now they can help inhibit the growth of bacteria within dental plaque. But they’re not actually removing it. We need to mechanically remove dental plaque from our teeth every day with brushing and flossing. The benefits of using Zollipops is that it can be a substitute for a different type of sweet treat. It doesn’t act as a substitute for our oral hygiene regimen.
Snacking Between Meals And Cavities
When you have a candy snack in between meals the risk for decay increases. The frequency of sugar exposure is just as harmful to teeth as the amount of sugar consumed. Tooth decay starts with demineralization. Demineralization describes that process when acid begins to soften and weaken hard tooth structures.
The good news is we can reverse it through a process called remineralization. But there’s a lot to understand about the cavity process so that you can know how to make the best choices for snacks or candy. We will remineralize dentin and enamel by adding in mineralizing chemicals, fluoride is one of those. And so Because while you’re eating a meal your mouth produces more saliva and saliva helps counteract the effects of acid attacks by bacteria. Because most people enjoy candy in between meals, that increases their risk for cavities. We have to understand
Zollipops Ceo: Alina Morse
The remarkable Zollipop story began back in 2012 when Alina was just seven years old. She decided that she wanted a lollipop that wouldn’t ruin her teeth. After a few years of research and hundreds of home-baked lollipop experiments, Alina took the Zollipop to the retail marketplace.
A Few Words Of Caution
There is one reservation that we dentists have about sugar-free candies. And we would be cautious about promoting the use of Zollipops to young children themselves. A child will not be able to distinguish between noncariogenic candy and other more cariogenic sweets. So if you give your child Zollipops, it’s going to be difficult for that child to understand why other lollipops may not be so good for them. And so it does involve a little bit of education. You have to make sure that your child understands why this one is okay and others are not. We don’t want to inadvertently suggest that all candy is okay or good for the teeth because it’s certainly not. We want to make sure that there is a good understanding of why this one is good and others are not.
So for really young kids, as long as you’re in control of the candy that they have access to, then you can make sure they’re only getting candy that is sugar-free, containing good sugar substitutes like Xylitol and erythritol. But if you cannot control that access, then you may want to hold off on a treat like this until they are old enough to understand the difference and make that determination themselves.
Zollipops would be a great option for snacking between meals because they’re not going to increase your risk for cavities. They will also help promote a healthy flow of saliva which is vital for a healthy mouth. The ones I tried were the strawberry-flavored Zollipops and they taste just like a normal piece of candy. My husband and another friend and I tried them. We all agree that they taste wonderful. There’s no reason you would dislike the flavor of Zollipops.
I would happily recommend them to patients. I tend to recommend products with xylitol or erythritol to help promote good oral health. Zollipops are a great way to give your child a sweet, that’s not going to harm them. They would be wonderful treats for Halloween, if you’re passing out candy to your neighborhood kids or at a trunk or passing out treats, this would be a wonderful treat because it’s not going to increase the risk for cavities.
Overall it is a great treat. It’s a great candy option to keep your mouth healthy.
1 / Most types of candy contain sugars that can cause tooth decay.
2 / Some sugars are more likely to cause cavities than others. Sucrose is generally considered to be the worst offender, closely followed by glucose, fructose, and maltose.
3 / Zollipops don’t contain sugars that cause tooth decay.
4 / Zollipops use alcohol sugars that can help control the bacteria that cause cavities.
Dr. Lara Coseo DDS, FAGD – Author –
Having practiced general dentistry for 13 years, Dr. Lara currently serves as an Associate Professor at Texas A&M College of Dentistry.