This dental health message from Koch Park Dental in Florissant is about xylitol.
Xylitol is a natural sweetener that was first discovered in birch tree bark but is also found in many fruits and vegetables. It is used in certain brands of chewing gum as an alternative sweetener. Unlike most other sweeteners (natural or synthetic), xylitol is actually beneficial for your teeth.
Numerous clinical studies have established that xylitol inhibits the growth of the bacteria that initiates tooth decay. It also minimizes plaque and strengthens tooth enamel.
Xylitol has other benefits, as well. Because it is low on the glycemic index, many of my patients with diabetes enjoy it as a healthy alternative to sugar. For those who cope with frequent dry mouth, xylitol gum or mints can stimulate saliva production while protecting against tooth decay.
Now, back to the golden question. Is xylitol gum just 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. However, you should still brush your teeth thoroughly (with a soft brush) after meals and get twice-yearly exams and dental cleanings.
At Koch Park Dental in Florissant, our goal is to keep your smile healthy and beautiful for life by preventing dental troubles before they start. We offer general dentistry, and special services like dental implants. Schedule an appointment with us today.