- October 9, 2019
- Cedar Lodge Dental
Katilyn Benoit, RDH
With Halloween approaching, it is only appropriate that we talk about sugar and sweeteners right?!
Did you know that there is a sweetener that is actually good for your teeth?!
Xylitol is a sweetener you will find in some gums, toothpastes, mouthwashes, jellies and jams, sugar free candy, peanut butter, and a few fruits and vegetables! However, check the label!! If Xylitol is the main sweetener, it will appear as the first ingredient on the list. BUT, if there is another sweetener like Sorbitol on the list ahead of Xylitol, it can have the opposite effect Xylitol has, counteracting the benefits we want!
Xylitol can benefit you in a multitude of ways you wouldn’t imagine!! Xylitol has a similar sweetness to sugar but has 40% less calories. It also has a low glycemic index, which means it doesn’t raise blood sugar or insulin! So yes, it’s popular in diabetic products as well. So individuals that have diabetes, obesity, or other metabolic issues, Xylitol is an excellent substitute for sugar!
Now let’s get down to the main reason dental professionals recommend using Xylitol products! It boosts dental health and has qualities that actually fight tooth decay. Tooth decay is caused by certain bacteria that feed on glucose. With Xylitol, these bad bacteria absorb it but are unable to metabolize it, resulting in the death of the cavity-causing bacteria while the healthy bacteria remains unaffected. Some studies also suggest that Xylitol helps with the absorption of calcium within your digestive system, having the effects of protecting you from osteoporosis while strengthening your teeth!
So let’s keep this in mind this Halloween! While it’s prime cavity season, we need to be sugar smart to protect our teeth and overall health!
While Xylitol is beneficial to humans, be careful to not leave any products with Xylitol around if you have pets! Xylitol is toxic to our fur babies!