How Xylitol Benefits Teeth
Xylitol is a sugar alcohol contained in many fruits and vegetables. Commercially produced xylitol is derived from either corncobs or birch bark. The World Health Organization and the FDA have both given xylitol their safest ratings for food additives.
Most often used as a sugar substitute (it has 9.6 calories in 1 teaspoon), it is used as a sweetener in gum and other food products. Gum made with xylitol is especially beneficial for dental health. When xylitol is present in the mouth, naturally occurring bacteria are unable to form dental plaque because xylitol keeps it from sticking to teeth and the bacteria are washed away, preventing decay.
Dentists recommend getting five to seven grams of xylitol in your system every day and it should be spread throughout the day in one-gram doses. Brush your teeth morning and night with xylitol/fluoride toothpaste, that is two of your five done right there. Use mouthwash containing xylitol and you have another gram or two. When you can’t brush after meals, chew xylitol gum.
Chewing gum that contains only xylitol at least five time a day is believed to reduce tooth decay and help remineralize enamel. It can also relieve dry mouth by stimulating salivary glands to produce more saliva.
Xylitol is now included in some toothpaste. Xylitol prevents cavity causing bacteria from forming lactic acid which eats through enamel and causes decay. It coats the teeth and makes the bacteria unable to stick to the teeth.
Combined with fluoride in toothpaste, xylitol gives your mouth a double dose of protection. Fluoride hardens the enamel and helps repair damage and xylitol helps inhibit future damage caused by bacteria.
Too much sugar in your diet can be trouble for your teeth, but if you include enough xylitol in your diet, gum, and toothpaste, you can eat your sweets and not get into too much trouble.
The only change you need to make in your routine is changing your toothpaste and mouthwash, and carrying xylitol gum with you. The rest is easy, and you will be sure to have healthier teeth.