What Is Xylitol?
Xylitol is a sweetener that occurs in nature. It’s a sugar alcohol that can be found in fruits, vegetables and even mushrooms. Xylitol is commonly used as a sugar substitute. But it’s not like the “sugar-free” substitutes found in most chewing gums, candies and mints. The sugar-free choices you find in the super market tend to use less expensive alternatives. The reason we love Xylitol is that it can help to prevent tooth decay. At just 2.4 calories per gram, Xylitol has fewer calories and fewer carbohydrates than sugar.
How Xylitol Works
Tooth decay is caused by acid-producing bacteria that live in your mouth. When we eat sugar, these bacteria convert sugar into even more acid. Over time, the consuming sugar can work to dissolve tooth enamel. Then the bacteria invades and begins to eat away at the tooth’s inner dentin layer.
Xylitol tastes sweet but it’s not converted in the mouth to acids that can cause tooth decay. It also works to reduce levels of decay-causing bacteria in saliva. Using products that contain between 1-20 grams of Xylitol like chewing gum, candies or toothpaste daily can reduce the rate of cavity formation in children and adults.
Is Xylitol Safe?
In 1986 the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) commissioned the Federation of American Societies of Experimental Biology (FASEB) to review all relevant data concerning xylitol and other polyols. FASEB’s scientific conclusions indicate that use of xylitol in humans is safe.
Do Not Use If…
Do not use if you’re nursing or pregnant. And make sure to keep away from dogs and cats.
Check with us at your next dental visit, we have a number of Xylitol products available for kids or adults.