What Is Xylitol?

Your diet affects your oral health. For example, consuming foods and beverages high in sugar can increase your risk of developing a cavity. Bacteria in your mouth feed on sugar and produce acids that start to wear away your tooth enamel, causing decay and cavities. However, we understand that sometimes you crave a sweet snack and want to know what you can do to satisfy your craving without causing damage to your teeth.

Xylitol as a Substitute

One way to satisfy your sweet tooth is to look for other sweeteners that don’t have the same negative effects as sugar. One such option is xylitol, a natural sweetener made from the fibrous parts of plants. Because xylitol doesn’t break down like sugar, it doesn’t leave damaging acids on your teeth. In fact, xylitol actually helps maintain a neutral pH level in your mouth.

Bacteria can’t digest xylitol, so their growth is limited. Additional research shows that xylitol also repairs damaged enamel by stimulating saliva production. Saliva washes away excess food particles, which stops bacteria from consuming them and growing.

Woman with red hair blows a large pink gum bubble

Sugar-Free Gum

One product that uses xylitol as a sweetener is sugar-free gum. By chewing sugar-free gum, you can freshen your breath and increase saliva production. This helps clean your teeth and prevent the buildup of bacteria that can cause cavities or other issues.

The next time you reach for a sweet treat, consider an alternative that will be kind to your teeth. After all, a little preventive care goes a long way toward keeping your mouth healthy and your smile bright. During your next visit, ask us about ways in which you can incorporate more xylitol and less sugar into your diet. To schedule your next appointment, contact us today!

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Oakboro Family Dentistry

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