Wouldn't it be great if an FDA-approved food product was available that, if consumed in moderation on a daily basis, could reduce tooth decay on the order of 30% to 85%?
This miracle food product does exist! It's a naturally occurring sugar substitute called Xylitol.
Xylitol is a sugar alcohol that is found in the fibers of many fruits and vegetables including various berries, birch trees, corn husks, oats and mushrooms. Don't worry if you decide to use Xylitol as an anti-cavity measure: there is no chance that you will become inebriated! That effect is caused by another type of alcohol.
This natural sweetener is made mainly from birch trees. It prevents the bacteria that cause cavities to stick to the tooth's surface, thus preventing cavities from starting. Xylitol is sweet and is used as a sugar substitute. With 40% fewer calories than sugar and a protective element that slows tooth decay, dental associations in Denmark and Finland have already called for children to chew Xylitol- sweetened gum (Trident, Spry…) to prevent cavities.
How does it work? Xylitol blocks bacteria from producing the acids that cause tooth decay, thus decreasing the level of cavity-causing bacteria. It also decreases plaque formation on teeth and enhances remineralization (hardening of the tooth surface) of weakened teeth.
To find gum, mints or foods that contain Xylitol, simply read the label. It should be the first sweetener listed on the label before other sweeteners. If you can't find foods containing Xylitol, ask the store manager to order them for you.
At LDA, we'll always make you aware of any new and safe products that can help in the fight against tooth decay.