Xylitol is available in numerous chewing gums, mints, toothpastes, mouthwashes and numerous other products, and can even be purchased in a granulated form for use as a table top sweetener or replacement for sugar.
The Californian Dental Hygienist’s Association (CDHA) was promoting the dental benefits of xylitol over the holiday season and into the New Year, describing xylitol as the gift that “not only tastes sweet but fights cavities at the same time”.
Jean Honny, president of the CDHA, stated "While we recommend this natural sweetener to patients throughout the year, the Christmas and New Year's season is the perfect time to raise even greater awareness. Dental decay affects almost every resident in the United States, causing untold costs in time, money, and suffering" and concluding that "Fortunately, this amazing sweetener can actually help to prevent decay."
Xylitol is the perfect “healthy habit” to start the year. Not only can xylitol reduce tooth decay but it can also reverse the early stages of decay. It works by altering the balance of the bacteria found in the mouth, inhibiting the most virulent decay-causing bacteria and favouring the less harmful bacteria.
Decay-causing bacteria are contagious, and passed from parents to children when kissing or sharing spoons or bites of food, and xylitol has even been demonstrated to actually reduce the transfer of bacteria from mothers to their babies.
Xylitol has been used in foods since the late 1960s, and is approved for use in almost all countries worldwide, including the USA. It is equal in sweetness to sugar, whilst yielding 40 percent fewer calories.
Numerous studies over a period of nearly 40 years have confirmed the unique dental properties of xylitol and have revealed other advantages to using xylitol products, including increased salivary flow in people affected by dry mouth, prevention of ear infections, calorie control, and approved for diabetics.
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