The results are published in the journalBMC Oral Healthand show significant reductions on plaque causing bacteria amongst children eating both types of bears.
Lead authorKiet A. Ly, from theUniversity of Washington, said: "For xylitol to be successfully used in oral health promotion programmes amongst primary-school children, an effective means of delivering xylitol must be identified. Gummy bears would seem to be more ideal than chewing gum."
The researchers concluded: "These results suggest that a xylitol gummy bear snack may be an alternative to xylitol chewing gum for dental caries prevention.
"A larger clinical trial is needed to confirm the xylitol results."
The researchers were surprised that both the xylitol group and the mannitol group showed reductions in plaque bacteria. Xylitol has been shown in previous research to be effective in helping to prevent tooth decay but evidence on mannitol, which is a very similar substance, has been conflicting.
Okay, Gummi Bears might be cute, but I’m not chewing some artificially flavored candy concoction to protect my teeth. Hopefully parents don’t buy into this jibber-jabber either—sheesh!