How Xylitol Chewing Gum and Mints Lead to Better Oral Health
Given today’s busy schedules, patients are looking for ways to increase the effectiveness of their dental care long after they’ve left their dentist’s chair. While brushing and flossing regularly are some of the most common methods of maintaining oral health, recent studies show that daily use of xylitol mints or chewing gum can greatly reduce tooth decay, and can even halt or reverse existing dental issues or abnormalities. A natural sweetener, xylitol is found in an array of different sources, among them berries, fruits, corncobs, mushrooms, and even hardwoods.
Benefits of using xylitol gum or mints include:
- Low rates of tooth decay even years after use.
- Long-lasting, potentially permanent effects.
- Decreased levels of cavity-causing bacteria.
How to Use Xylitol to Improve Oral Health
The best way to use products containing xylitol is to make sure they spend a lot of time getting up close and personal with your teeth. Look for sweetened products that require chewing or sucking in order to maximize effects.
How Much and Proper Frequency of Use
We suggest using between 4 – 12 grams per day. Most gums and mints containing the ingredient contain one gram per piece, so keeping track of your intake is easy. Start with about four grams per day and work your way up, but don’t exceed 15 grams in a day because taking too much can actually counteract its results. If you choose to use the gum over mints, try and chew it for about five minutes each time you pop a new piece.
Where to Find Xylitol Products
Spry and Epic are two common brands currently offering xylitol gum and mints. Here’s a look at where you can get some:
- Whole Foods
- New Seasons Markets
Contact Your Tualatin & Tigaird Dentist
For more information about making xylitol a part of your daily routine or if you’re looking for a new dentist in the Tualatin, OR area, please contact the office of Candace L. Peterson, DMD, MAGD at 503-691-9046.