Nobody likes getting cavities. And the truth is that even with brushing and flossing and regular dental cleanings, cavities can still occur. It has been found that eating candies or mints containing xylitol can reduce the likelihood of getting cavities. Xylitol is a naturally occurring sweetener that is found in fruits and some vegetables. Cavity-causing bacteria in our mouths cannot metabolize xylitol (like it does with sugar) so it can’t turn it into acid. Also, xylitol has an anti-adhesive effect on cavity-causing bacteria making it harder for the bacteria to stick to our teeth.
Can I get xylitol products over the counter?
Most of the products sold in stores only have small amounts of xylitol in them. We recommend a company called XLEAR which carry SPRY products with 100% xylitol. Their website is xlear.com
What about xylitol gum?
Spry xylitol gum is a good choice but you would need to chew about 10 pieces of gum a day to get the recommended dose. Mints or candy are a little bit easier to get the right amount per day. But for people who like to chew gum, the spry gum could be good to use along with the mints or candies.
What is the recommended dose?
The recommended dose is between 5 and 6 grams (each piece of gum, mint or candy is between .5 and .7 gram). It is recommended that you first start with just 1 or 2 pieces after each meal. Some people have a sensitivity to xylitol and if they take too much it can have a laxative effect. So if xylitol does not affect you in this way, feel free to use more.
Besides adding xylitol to one’s diet, there are many other things individuals can do to make a serious impact against cavities. Please contact our office at (209)478-3036 if you are interested in having one of our dental professionals put together a personal optimal anti-cavity strategy for you or a loved one