Have You Heard of Xylitol?

April 14, 2014 | Posted in Education


What is Xylitol?  Xylitol is a natural sugar alcohol that is found in corn and birch trees.  It can be used as a sweetener in foods along with other sugar alcohols such as mannitol and sorbitol.  Substituting sugar for xylitol can help fight cavities!!
 
Cavity causing bacteria live in our mouth.  They feed on sugars from our diet to grow and multiply.  Brushing and flossing helps reduce bacteria by decreasing the amount of sugar or plaque sticking to the teeth. The bacteria eat sugar only to produce a waste product that is very acidic.  This acid eats a hole in the tooth and a cavity develops.
 
Xylitol inhibits bacteria from growing essentially by starving them.  Bacteria cannot digest xylitol. Overtime fewer decay-causing bacteria thrive in the mouth and the level of acid attacking the tooth is lowered.  Studies have shown that cavity causing bacteria is passed from parents to newborn children.  Mothers using xylitol significantly reduce the frequency of cavities for children.
 
Xylitol is found in gum and mints.  They must be used 3-5 times a day after meals for a total intake of 5 grams.  The gum should be chewed for 5 minutes and allowed to dissolve in the mouth. 
 
Talk to us at the Rideau Dental Centre about Xylitol.  Call us 613-230-7475.  We’ll answer your questions.