xylitol and oral health

Xylitol and Oral Health

We’ve sung the praises of xylitol on this blog before—and with good reason! Xylitol has proven to be an effective tool to improve oral health. It can strengthen your teeth and prevent decay, among numerous other benefits. At Lifetime Family Dental, our priority is to share the latest and greatest in the dental health world with you. 

What is Xylitol?

Xylitol is a natural substance that is often used as a dietary sugar substitute due to its health benefits. Although xylitol is a substitute for sugar, it’s not just “fake sugar.” No doubt you’ve heard that sugar substitutes are bad for you, and some are. But xylitol actually has helpful properties. 

  • It tastes like sugar, but it isn’t. Yes, it is sweet, and it even looks like sugar, but it does the opposite of what sugar does for oral health. Whereas sugar feeds harmful bacteria in your mouth, xylitol fights it, working to prevent decay and cavities. And it’s a healthy alternative for kids, who will love its sweet taste. Just be sure to stick to the recommended daily amounts for children.
  • It’s natural. Even though it’s used as a substitute for sugar, you certainly can’t call xylitol “fake sugar.” Xylitol is a five-carbon sugar polytol that derives its helpful properties from nature.
  • It has many uses. Xylitol is used in place of sugar in many different ways, not limited to dental health. It’s also used in cooking, baking, and various products.

How Xylitol Can Improve Oral Health  

Xylitol is full of beneficial properties that can improve oral health. Xylitol can:

  • Prevent tooth decay, (and, in turn, cavities). Xylitol attacks harmful bacterial growth that encourages the process of cavity formation. 
  • Reverse tooth decay. Not only can it prevent developing cavities, but it can actually reserve the process of tooth decay as well. This won’t happen right away, however—keep using xylitol toothpaste to see these results over time.
  • Prevent diabetes and other insulin-related issues. Diabetes wreaks havoc on oral health. Replacing sugar, which can lead to diabetes, with a healthy, natural product is never a bad idea. 

 

Xylitol Products for Oral Health

  • Toothpaste. As we stated earlier, xylitol toothpaste is a great choice for kids. They’ll enjoy its sweetness and reap its numerous benefits at the same time!
  • Mints. Xylitol mints make a delicious after-dinner treat. You can enjoy the minty freshness without worrying about consuming too much sugar. 
  • Gum. Chewing xylitol gum throughout the day will strengthen your teeth and fight off harmful bacteria. 

Should I Consume Xylitol Every Day

When it comes to xylitol, daily consumption is encouraged. Research has shown that consuming xylitol 3-5 times a day, whether it be through toothpaste or gum, can provide you with these amazing oral health benefits. Just be sure to keep it out of your dog’s reach, as it is highly toxic to them. 

Local Dentist in Gilbert

Our team at Lifetime Family Dental cares about one thing, and that’s keeping your teeth in top-notch condition. In addition to consuming xylitol for your oral health, be sure to brush and floss daily and keep up with your twice-yearly cleanings. If it’s been more than six months since your last dental visit, give us a call today to schedule an appointment. 

Image by Hans Braxmeier on Pixabay.