What if a dentist told you that you should eat candy to PREVENT cavities from forming? Pretty sweet, right? Well with Xylitol, you can do just that!
Xylitol is a 5 carbon sugar with a low glycemic index. It tastes sweet and is naturally occurring in corn and birch trees. Xylitol cannot be metabolized by oral bacteria so it disrupts biofilms and prevents bacteria from replicating. Studies have shown that giving xylitol to children during tooth eruption in the form of a lozenge or gum can decrease plaque and decay more effectively than fluoride treatments. These effects are sustained years after the xylitol treatment. Giving xylitol to new mothers can also inhibit bacterial transfer to infants (even before teething) and also reduce caries rate in children. These studies show that temporal treatments with xylitol can have long lasting, positive impacts on tooth decay. This is revolutionary as with increased use of xylitol, we will see a precipitous drop in childhood caries even without the improvement of oral hygiene. Xylitol is also an excellent adjunct to geriatric populations who cannot maintain good oral hygiene. It is more effective than chlorohexidine and fluoride in managing dental plaque, caries, and gum disease. You can find xylitol products in your local health food store!