Xylitol, an all-natural sweetener commonly found in vegetables and fruits, is recommended by our dentists and many other health care providers as an alternative to sugar. The dentists at our office frequently recommend eating candies or chewing gums that contain Xylitol in order to help prevent cavities and tooth decay. Xylitol is a safe and effective sugar substitute for children and adults. It is even acceptable for diabetic patients who are not insulin dependent. Xylitol can:
- Increase saliva
- Naturally reduce and inhibit the growth, metabolism, and adhesion of bacteria in the mouth that causes decay
- Promote the healing of a minor enamel cavity (a process called remineralization)
- Prevent decay-causing bacteria from transferring from mother to baby
- Maintain a healthy, non-acidic environment for your teeth
For optimal results, look for candy and gum that contain at least .07 grams of Xylitol per piece. If the dosage is not listed, check to see if Xylitol is one of the first two ingredients on the ingredient list. Patients who are at risk for dental disease should have 6-10 grams of Xylitol each day.