If you’re looking for ways to protect your teeth from decay and cavities, reducing sugar intake can be an important step to take towards that goal. In addition to keeping an eye out for sugar-free options, xylitol can be an alternative sweetener that may actually be beneficial to your teeth dental health. Let’s talk about what’s so sweet about xylitol and how it can benefit you.
What is Xylitol?
Xylitol is a sugar alcohol that is naturally found in small amounts in many fruits and vegetables and is even produced by the human body’s normal metabolism. It can be processed from trees such as birch or a plant fiber known as xylan. Xylitol has less calories at just 2.4 calories per gram than traditional table sugar at 4 calories per gram — a 40% decrease! Xylitol also doesn’t raise your blood sugar levels, although it looks and tastes similar to regular sugar. But what’s so sweet about xylitol is that it can actually benefit your teeth, in contrast to regular sugar, and in addition to all these other advantages.
How Can Xylitol Benefit My Teeth?
With use over time, xylitol has been shown to neutralize the pH environment of your mouth to reduce bacteria content and its ability to adhere to your teeth. While regular table sugar helps to feed bacteria, producing an acidic environment in your mouth that is more prone to the development of cavities, xylitol may actually help to slow down and even reverse tooth decay and enable your enamel to rebuild, preventing future cavities.
How Can I Replace Sugar with Xylitol?
Xylitol has been shown to be safe for all ages, so it can replace sugar in most products. The sweetener is becoming more and more common in toothpastes, floss, mouthwash, gum, mints, packaged foods and even candies.
Many bakers and cooks have said that xylitol stacks up better than other alternative sweeteners in baking recipes, too, which means that you can try it as a replacement for sugar in many of your favorite recipes. What’s so sweet about xylitol is that the possibilities are endless!
Ask Your Dentist About Xylitol
If you’re curious to know more about xylitol and how it can be added to your oral care regimen to benefit your teeth, it’s a great topic to bring up with your dentist. Dentists are experts in caring for teeth and are always happy to help you find ways that you can better your oral health while enjoying the food, drinks and lifestyle that brings you joy.
Call our Scottsdale Dental Office to make an appointment with a dentist who may be able to help you find out more about this topic, and improve your oral health.