Questions for “Could a toothpaste help treat peanut allergy?”

a pile of shelled peanuts

A New York City–based company is testing whether a new toothpaste can help protect people from their peanut allergies.

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To accompany “Could a toothpaste help treat peanut allergy?


Before Reading:

1.  Do you have a food allergy or know someone who does? What steps can help prevent a rash or even more serious reactions to the triggering foods?

During Reading:

1.  How common are food allergies in the United States?

2.  What is oral immunotherapy?

3.  What is an allergen?

4.  How does sublingual immunotherapy work? What does new research suggest about when might be the best time to start such treatments?

5.  What was William Reisacher’s inspiration for the idea of a therapeutic toothpaste for food allergies?

6.  What is a clinical trial? What will the new cinical trial for this toothpaste test and in what people?

7.  What is one concern about a potential safety issue with the new toothpaste?

After Reading:

1.  The new toothpaste is being designed to help people with food allergies. Do you think it would help people with other types of allergies, too — such as those allergic to wool, latex or tree pollen? Explain your reasoning using information you learned about in the story.