You may have heard of Xylitol – a type of sweetener used in sugarless gum. Actually, this gum sweetener can be beneficial for your mouth and oral health. The following information details how more about this sweetener and its benefits.
What Is Xylitol and How Is it Derived?
Xylitol is a natural sugar that is known to prevent decay and cavities. While sugar alcohols, such as sorbitol and mannitol, are used for preventing cavities, Xylitol is a stronger product in this respect. Xylitol is found in a number of fruits and vegetables. However, its two main sources of extraction are corn cobs and birch bark. While Xylitol is normally used to sweeten gum, you can also buy the sweetener separately and use it for baking or to sweeten cereals and beverages. It is about half the calories of regular sugar. For it to be effective, gum with Xylitol should be chewed for at least 5 minutes, 3 to 5 times per day. If you consume a mint with Xylitol, allow the disc to totally dissolve in your mouth. Do not bite down on it, as it can damage your teeth.
How Does Xylitol Prevent Cavities?
Xylitol stops the growth of bacteria that leads to cavities. The bacteria, or Streptococcus mutans, cannot grow when Xylitol is consumed because they cannot use the sweetener to grow. Therefore, harmful, decay-producing bacteria simply cannot linger on the teeth. As a result, less plaque is created and acid attacks are reduced. To ensure that the Xylitol in a product will prevent tooth decay, it should be listed first in the ingredient listing. To find this product, look in local health food stores or check the web for product listings. While the substance may have a laxative effect, the amount of Xylitol suggested for reducing cavities should not cause this problem.
Now that you know the benefits of Xylitol, you can make some dietary changes and improve your dental health at the same time. If you chew sugarless gum, look for gum brands that contain Xylitol. Make sure the sweetener is listed first to receive decay-preventing benefits. Call us, as well, about any questions you have about sugar alcohols and sugarless gum. Give yourself a dental boost by using this natural sweetener.
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