As of late, the way we are able to take care of our teeth has been improved by lots of new dental inventions. Power scalers, air polishers, loupes and lights have made our smiles wider and out teeth whiter. One particularly important discovery has to do with the benefits of using xylitol. It is a game changer in the dental improvements department because it strikes at the roots of dental problems and can prevent serious dental diseases from developing.
The traditional prevention in dental care includes brushing, flossing and fluoride toothpaste but with the addition of the xylitol, you can get even better results. For example, in people using xylitol dental products a 50% reduction in plaque levels has been noted. Xylitol as a natural five-carbon sugar polyol in a white crystalline condition tastes like regular sugar, but it is not an artificial sweetener. It contains 2.4 calories per gram and provides 40% fewer calories than the other carbohydrates. It is safe for diabetics as it has a glycemic index of 7. It is used in mouthwash and toothpaste products and here is a glimpse at the way it works and protects our dental health.
First of all, xylitol prevents caries in several different ways. It doesn’t allow bacteria to produce acid and it blocks the communication between bacteria so they can’t produce the polysaccharide slime that holds the biofilm together. Additionally, it raises the pH level of the mouth which means cariogenic bacteria can’t produce the acid that demineralizes the enamel as these bacteria live in a low environment. Xylitol helps to maintain high salivary calcium levels which are needed for mineralization of the teeth.
By using a xylitol mouthwash high-risk caries patients can treat problems caused by streptococci bacteria. It is scientifically proven that xylitol in combination with chlorhexidine inhibits streptococci more efficiently in comparison to when chlorhexidine is used as an ingredient of the mouthwash on its own. This is highly beneficial for reducing MS transmission from mother to child. Also, the use of xylitol mouthwash offers a healthy way to freshen the breath avoiding the harmful effects of alcohol which is a common ingredient. It also provides a beneficial palate cleansing when used in combination with brushing and flossing. It is advisable to be used twice a day and as it is easy to use and you can be sure that the difficult to reach parts of the mouth (which you might miss) will be cleaned and left with fresh smelling breath.
Furthermore, a xylitol toothpaste is another great option for keeping the teeth and gums clean and healthy. You can choose a toothpaste with or without fluoride but make sure there is 100% xylitol in the ingredients. Also, mannitol, maltitol, sorbitol or HSH (blended polyols) should be avoided because cavity-causing bacteria thrive on these artificial sweeteners. According to scientific research, using a toothpaste with xylitol can lead to a decrease in Streptococci mutant colonies in the saliva, a decrease of the amount of secreted saliva and an increase of the pH value. The cariostatic effects on the tooth enamel can get improved when there’s xylitol in a fluoride toothpaste. Xylitol on its own, on the other hand, helps in caries control.
To sum up, the evidence of the beneficial use of the xylitol can’t and shouldn’t be overseen. As going to the dentist to fix the dental problems might be an expensive trip, preventing the problems from happening in the first place should be your priority. Since xylitol is widely available in health food stores in a variety of forms including toothpaste and mouthwash, you now have one more reason to smile.