Have you seen the word “xylitol” on packaging and wondered what in the world that is? Xylitol is a natural sweetener that’s similar to sugar in taste and appearance. It’s commonly used as a sugar substitute in gum and candy. However, its genetic makeup is very different from traditional sugar. Xylitol is derived from plant material, including vegetables and fruits, making it healthier for your teeth than sugar. It doesn’t create the same acidic reaction in your mouth as sugar does, which means you can enjoy its sweetness without the negative effects on your oral health.
Benefits of Xylitol
Sugar produces an acid that damages tooth enamel and accelerates tooth decay whereas xylitol can help protect and prevent cavities. It may seem unusual that something sweet can actually be beneficial to your teeth, but here are some of the ways xylitol contributes to a healthy mouth:
- Neutralizes Acidity — Xylitol balances acidity levels in your mouth which helps protect enamel from harmful acid attacks caused by sugar.
- Reduces Plaque — Xylitol prevents bad bacteria from attaching to your teeth, reducing the amount of plaque and tartar buildup.
- Increases Saliva Production — Xylitol stimulates saliva production, which helps wash away leftover food particles, bacteria, and debris.
Visit Our Dental Office for a Routine Checkup
While xylitol can help prevent cavities and tooth decay, it’s not enough to just chew some xylitol gum and call it a day. It’s important to also attend routine dental visits and practice proper oral hygiene care at home. We recommend you visit us every six months for a teeth cleaning and a dental exam so we can address any dental problems while they’re small. To learn more about xylitol or to schedule a dental visit, contact our office today. We look forward to helping you maintain a healthy smile!Contact Us Today