What is Xylitol?
Xylitol is natural sugar substitute that can help prevent cavities. Although it looks and tastes like sugar, it cannot be utilized by the bacteria that cause tooth decay. With continued use, these bacteria (called Step Mutans) are unable to grow and multiply, resulting in less plaque and the acid that causes decay.
The sweet flavor of xylitol also helps Dry Mouth.
Is Xylitol Safe?
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration and World Health Organization's Joint Expert Committee on Food Safety have approved Xylitol for safety. It is naturally present in many foods, such as fruits, berries and mushrooms. It is a low calorie alternative to sugar (sucrose) and is safe for diabetics because it does not cause a rapid rise in blood sugar. Because it is digested as a fiber, introduce Xylitol gradually into your routine to avoid a mild laxative effect. Keep xylitol products out of reach from pets. Just like grapes and chocolate, Xylitol is safe for human consumption but can be toxic to dogs.
How to Choose a Xylitol Product:
Look for products that are chewed or sucked, such as gums and mints, to keep Xylitol in contact with your teeth. Many toothpastes and rinses also offer the benefits of containing Xylitol. The most effective products will list Xylitol as the first and only sweetener. Five exposures each day will provide optimal decay prevention.
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