In this post from Cary Family Dental, we take a look at xylitol gum, and whether it is a substitute for brushing your teeth and regular dental exams.
Xylitol is a natural sweetener that was first discovered in birch tree bark, but is also found in many fruits and vegetables. Unlike most other sweeteners (natural or synthetic), xylitol actually helps your teeth.
Numerous clinical studies have shown that xylitol inhibits the growth of the bacteria that initiates decay. It also reduces plaque and strengthens tooth enamel.
Xylitol has other benefits, as well. Because it is low on the glycemic index, many patients with diabetes enjoy it as a healthy alternative to sugar. For those with frequent dry mouth, xylitol gum or mints can stimulate saliva production while protecting against decay.
Now, back to the golden question. Is xylitol gum as effective as brushing your teeth and seeing your family dentist regularly? Absolutely not! If you cannot brush your teeth after a meal, chewing xylitol gum for five or ten minutes is probably a good idea. But you should still brush your teeth thoroughly (with a soft brush) after meals and get twice-yearly exams and dental cleanings.
At Cary Family Dental, our goal is to keep your smile healthy and beautiful for life by preventing dental issues before they start. We offer family and cosmetic dentistry. Schedule your next checkup today!