Xylitol: Nature’s Sweetener for Dental Health


Xylitol is a trending formulation incorporated in toothpaste and mouthwashes that claims to prevent cavities in children and adults. Currently, it is popularly used for children since they are more prone to cavities due to poor oral hygiene and unhealthy eating habits. 

The Arlington Heights dentist and their team have expertise in patient education for the proper use and dosage of Xylitol in cavity prevention.  

What is Xylitol?

Xylitol, or sugar alcohol, is a popular sweetener that does not contain sugar. It is found in a variety of fruits and vegetables, and can also be traced in your body post carbohydrate metabolism. This magical ingredient tastes as sweet as sugar but with fewer calories, and does not encourage the growth and colonization of the cavity-causing bacteria in your mouth.

Xylitol has a low glycemic index (it does not cause any spike in your blood glucose levels), making it a safe alternative for diabetics apart from being safe for children. It is a common additive in foods, and other products like sugar-free gum, hard candies, mints, jams, chocolate, cough syrup, saline solution for nasal rinses, toothpastes, and mouthwashes. 

How does Xylitol work?

According to severe research studies, Xylitol has proven to be a potent ingredient in cavity prevention in both kids and adults. Bacteria do not depend on Xylitol to produce toxic by-products. Therefore they cannot cause cavities. Regularly consuming Xylitol reduces the amount of certain harmful bacterial strains that are most responsible for tooth decay. Over time bacteria may die off and fewer can survive on the tooth surfaces. Less plaque clings to the teeth and the levels of acids that attack the teeth are lowered, reducing the risk of cavities. 

Furthermore, Xylitol is also used as a promising anti-periodontitis agent for reducing gingival inflammation. Chewing Xylitol gums have proven to increase the salivary flow, which can effectively rinse away the bacteria and acids, thereby remineralizing the tooth enamel. Thus it prevents tooth decay or even reverses it in its earliest stage.

Is Xylitol safe for kids?

Xylitol is safe for kids and adults in the amounts found in oral health products and food. It is an FDA-approved ingredient that is being used as a sugar substitute and additive. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) supports the use of Xylitol and other sugar alcohols as non-cariogenic sugar substitutes.

Final takeaway 

Xylitol is a super ingredient that aids in caries prevention. However, care should be taken to consume it in considerable doses since large amounts can cause diarrhea, gas, and digestive issues. Consult your dentist about the best way to incorporate Xylitol in your daily life for caries prevention.