Nine-Year-Old Launches Company That Makes Teeth-Friendly Lollipops

dentist officeA nine-year-old entrepreneur who came up with the idea for a tooth-friendly lollipop made with healthy ingredients is making headlines for her emerging company.

According to a February 24 Entrepreneur article, the young Alina Morse came up with the idea for Zollipops, a treat just as likely to be seen in a dentist office as it is in a Whole Foods, after her dad warned her not to eat a lollipop given to her by a bank teller.

“My dad always told me that I should not eat candy, because sugar is terrible for your teeth,” Morse explained. “I asked my dad if we could make a healthy sucker that was good for your teeth.”

To create the ingredients list for a lollipop that would make dental cleanings and dental exams headache-free for both kids and their dentists, Morse and her dad consulted with local dentists and hygienists, and did plenty of online and in-store research. Zollipops contain no sugar — the ingredient responsible for tooth decay in millions of mouths of all ages.

Nowadays, Zollipops are sold at Whole Foods Markets, a chain of natural food stores, and are available at a growing number of dental practices. How does Morse balance a rapidly-growing business with her school and social life?

“By splitting my time after school, one third for homework, one third for business updates or projects and one third for organizing and playing with my sister,” she told Entrepreneur.

Over the last few years, demand for more teeth-friendly foods has risen as a result of studies showing how important an attractive smile is. Almost everyone — 99.7% of people — believe that a smile is one of the most important social assets; an amazing 75% of people say that an unattractive smile can be harmful for career success. This might be why teeth whitening procedures have risen in popularity by 300% in the last five years — and why entrepreneurs like Morse are looking for ways to make candy less damaging to teeth.

Morse isn’t stopping at merely selling Zollipops to encourage dental health among her age group, however. According to aCandy Industry article, she plans to give 10% of Zollipops’ profit to support dental education in schools across the country.

What are your thoughts on Zollipops? Have any other questions for us about how to find a dentist office or on eating the right foods for your teeth? Feel free to share and ask by leaving a comment below.

How a Trip to the Dentist Saved a Girl’s Life

neighborhood family dentistry
There are plenty of reasons the average person might make dental exams and appointments a priority: for one, the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry reports that 99.7% of Americans believe a smile is an important social asset, while 75% of people fear an unattractive smile could hinder their professional success. Moreover, visiting a dentist office for even relatively common procedures can have life-changing effects: correcting misaligned teeth, for example, can prevent lifelong periodontal problems and severe tooth wear, including premature tooth loss. However, a family in Oklahoma recently discovered yet another reason to prioritize trips to their neighborhood family dentistry: their local dentist helped save their 11-year old daughter’s life.

The Woodard family told the Washington Post that they almost cancelled their six-month cleaning appointment. However, they dutifully made the trip to their neighborhood family dentistry practice with their four children, including their 11-year old daughter, Journee. During her cleaning, the dental hygienist and dentist noticed that Journee’s eyes were extremely yellow, a sign of jaundice. The dentist urged her mother to seek medical attention as soon as possible. When the family attended an appointment a few days later, it was revealed that Journee had a grapefruit-sized tumor on her pancreas, which needed to be removed immediately. Doctors told the family they were lucky: Journee was reportedly one basketball game away from rupturing the tumor.

While it isn’t always a well-known service, the best family dentists will often be able to detect signs of a variety of conditions in their early stages, including high blood pressure, diabetes and HIV, in addition to preventing and treating a number of oral health problems. In the Woodwards’ case, this ability gave them the sign they needed: Journee’s earlier symptoms, which included mild nausea and burping, were misinterpreted as minor ailments which had abated by the time of her appointment.

Currently, Journee has returned home following her surgery, where her family and doctors say she is recovering exceptionally well. As for their dentist, the Woodwards say they’re patients for life. If you needed a reason to attend your next check up at your neighborhood family dentistry practice, consider this a sign.