Everyone knows that sugar is bad for teeth. It’s what bacteria feed on to create plaque and eventually, dental decay. On the other hand, sugar is delicious and highly addictive. That’s why sugar substitutes are in such high demand, particularly those with extra health benefits.
One solution that scientists and chefs have relied on is xylitol. It’s a natural sugar substitute derived primarily from plants. While it doesn’t taste exactly like sugar, it’s sweet and good for teeth! The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) has recognized the benefits of xylitol for preventing cavities. What’s more, studies show that xylitol can even reduce plaque as it is antimicrobial and lowers enamel attacking acid.
What is Xylitol?
Xylitol is a sugar alcohol found that can be extracted from berries, oats, and mushrooms and fibers like birch. When tested on animals, xylitol has been found to have nearly nonexistent side effects compared to other artificial sweeteners. The sugar alcohol also has an extremely low caloric value compared to other natural sugars.
Where can I get xylitol?
There are now items such as mints, chewable tablets, toothpaste, mouthwash and chewing gum that are made with xylitol! Chewing sugarless gum is especially beneficial since the act of chewing increases the production of saliva in your mouth. Saliva helps neutralize acid by washing it away.
Obviously, chewing gum can never replace brushing and flossing, but the American Dental Association indicates that 20 minutes of chewing sugarless gum after meals can help prevent tooth decay. To get more information about the benefits of Xylitol for healthy teeth, visit your pediatric dentist in Katy, or check out this info sheet from the AAPD!