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Xylitol in Toothpaste

by Dr. Pooneh Ramezani, DDS

What is xylitol you may ask and what is all the hype?

According to a 2017 article by California Dental Association, xylitol is a natural sugar alcohol that helps prevent cavities. Unlike other sugar alcohols such as sorbitol and mannitol, xylitol is the only one that is very promising in cavity protection.

How does xylitol prevent cavities?

Xylitol inhibits the growth of the bacteria that cause cavities. It does this because these bacteria (Streptococcus mutans) cannot utilize xylitol to grow.

Over time with xylitol use, the quality of the bacteria in the mouth changes and fewer and fewer decay-causing bacteria survive on tooth surfaces. Less plaque forms and the level of acids attacking the tooth surface is lowered.

Studies have shown that dental decay may be hereditary meaning you get the bacteria causing cavities (Streptococcus mutans) passed down to you from your mother.

Recent studies have shown that regular use of xylitol by mothers, reduces this bacterial transmission significantly resulting in fewer cavities in their children’s mouths.

Which products contain xylitol and how do I find them?

Dr. Brite toothpaste, mouthwashes and oral sprays contains natural, unrefined xylitol which is essential for the oral health of you and your families.

It is a lot more effective using products that contain xylitol because it gets absorbed through the oral cavity much faster and more efficient than ingesting it.

Also according to CDA you can chew gum and mints that contain xylitol 3-5 times daily for a total of 5 grams. Gum needs to be chewed for 5 minutes at a time and mint should be allowed to dissolve.

Does xylitol have side effects? Is xylitol safe?

Xylitol has been approved for safety by U.S. Food and Drug Administration, World Health Organization’s Joint Expert Committee on Food Additives and the European Union’s Scientific Committee for Food.

In conclusion, xylitol has been shown to have cavity-preventative properties especially for people who are more prone and are at moderate to high risk of developing tooth decay.

It should be used as part of the overall oral health strategy for cavity reduction which also includes a healthy diet and proper home care (brushing and flossing).

To your health,

Pooneh Ramezani, DDS

Some of Dr. Brite's products with xylitol: 

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