Fighting Tooth Decay With ‘Sugar’?? Using Xylitol to Prevent and Control Cavities.
In the eighties, artificial sweeteners in blue and pink packets, diet soda and sugar-free gum were known as “healthy” alternatives to the same sweet products high in sugar. Today, there’s another sweetener called xylitol with sweet-as-sugar taste and studies show it may help reduce and prevent tooth decay, or cavities. Xylitol is very low in calories and, unlike artificial sweeteners, has less side effects.
Xylitol is a natural sweetener found in plants and fruits. It was approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1986. Xylitol can be found in candies, mints, lemonade mixes, all-purpose sweeteners, and certain brands of chewing gum. It can help fight cavities without making a person change their daily routine in a major way. Unlike table sugar, which breaks down in the mouth and creates harmful acids, xylitol does not break down and therefore does not create any of these harmful acids.
Research confirms that xylitol inhibits the growth of S. mutans, the oral bacteria that causes tooth decay. It is children especially who can be helped by adding xylitol to their daily oral hygiene routine. Xylitol helps dentists and parents by giving them another tool in the battle against tooth decay in children. Best of all it’s a natural sugar that doesn’t cause cavities and can actually help to prevent them!
Here’s Dr. Brandon showing you some xylitol lollipops that we offer at Kona Kids Dentistry:
While there is no quick fix for eliminating tooth decay, xylitol may offer a realistic way to help to fight this problem. Here at Kona Kids Dentistry our experienced team would be happy to help you find what xylitol products may be right for your family! Just ask us at your child’s next appointment.