Xylitol – Reducing CavitiesHere at Snohomish Family Dentistry, we are dedicated to the health of your children’s mouths. We are proud to offer xylitol, which helps reduce cavities.

Unfortunately, tooth decay is common even though it is highly preventable. If decay is left untreated, it is painful and can really affect the teeth. Decay can make eating and speaking more difficult and change the look of your mouth.

Some children are more likely to suffer from tooth decay even with routine brushing and dental appointments. Because of this, the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) believes in the benefits of using xylitol to help reduce tooth decay in children.

Xylitol is found in many fruits and vegetables including berries, corn, lettuce, and many others. Studies have shown that children who eat between four and twenty grams of xylitol a day, divided among their meals, are up to 70 percent less likely to have dental cavities.

Since a cup of berries has less than one gram of xylitol, it can be hard to get children to eat enough xylitol to make a difference. Xylitol is also used as a sugar substitute found in gum and other health foods. No other sugar substitute offers the same benefits.

However, eating more than the recommended amount does not mean that your children will get more protection. It is recommended that you give your children only the correct daily amount to fight cavities.

Some children are more likely to get cavities because of their oral care habits and diet (especially if their diet is high in sugar and carbohydrates). Some children’s teeth are more resistant to buildup than others.

The bacteria left in your children’s mouths feeds off of sugars and carbohydrates. The bacteria attacks their tooth enamel, leaving it weak and more susceptible to cavities.

Xylitol is used to neutralize the acid which helps to keep your children’s enamel strong. This helps to decrease the amount of cavities they get. Xylitol also helps to get their saliva moving to clean away more food, bacteria, and plaque.

There are times when xylitol should be used with fluoride to remineralize teeth and strengthen the enamel so it is less likely to form cavities.

Though there are many benefits of chewing xylitol gum, young children are not able to do so. However, if you have a child who is still nursing, he or she can get benefits through breast milk!

Once your children are a little older, they can get xylitol in fruits and vegetables. You may also want to use it as a sugar substitute. When your children are old enough, it can be beneficial for them to chew gum with xylitol in it.

If you have questions or concerns about xylitol or tooth decay, don’t hesitate to contact us today at (360) 568-5411.