While other sugars and artificial sweeteners cause faster decay and tooth erosion, xylitol actually helps to improve overall dental health. Xylitol provides additional protection that enhances all existing cavity- and decay-prevention methods. The decay reducing effects of xylitol are long lasting and possibly permanent. Low decay rates persist even years after the trials have been completed.
The recommended amount of xylitol is less than 15 grams per day, which can be consumed in a variety of ways. Many foods naturally contain small amounts of xylitol, such as raspberries, strawberries, yellow plums, mushrooms, lettuce, and oats. Xylitol can also be found in many gums, mints, toothpastes, mouthwashes, and even in some candies! If you cannot consume enough xylitol through your diet or by dental hygiene products, you also have the option of taking a tablet.
Xylitol is a safe and beneficial sugar substitute, as it has 40% fewer calories than sucrose, or table sugar. It is also significantly less carcinogenic than sucrose and other artificial sweeteners. Xylitol is safe for sugar-controlled diets and was confirmed as a safe sweetener and food additive by the FDA in 1986.
Your mouth contains a great deal of acid-producing bacteria, especially after you eat. When you consume xylitol, the number of bacteria is reduced significantly—as much as 90%! Keeping this in mind, the best time to consume any amounts of xylitol is immediately after a meal or snack. Xylitol can be used or consumed by anyone, and the benefits are far-reaching. In addition to slowing and possibly reversing dental decay, xylitol can improve upper respiratory health and decrease the occurrence of acute middle ear infections, making it a must have for your entire family.