At Gastonia Dental Group we often hear questions about whether xylitol gum is an effective substitute for brushing teeth, and regular dental exams.
Before answering that question, here is a little bit about xylitol:
Xylitol is a natural sweetener that was first discovered in birch tree bark but is also found in many fruits and vegetables. Unlike most other sweeteners (natural or synthetic), xylitol is actually useful for teeth.
Numerous clinical studies have shown that xylitol prevents the growth of the bacteria that initiates cavities. It also lessens plaque and strengthens tooth enamel.
Xylitol has other benefits, as well. Because it is low on the glycemic index, many of people with diabetes enjoy it as a healthy alternative to sugar. For those with frequent dry mouth, xylitol gum or mints can stimulate saliva production while safeguarding against 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 Gastonia Dental Group, our goal is to keep your smile healthy and beautiful for life by preventing dental issues before they start. Services include general and cosmetic dentistry, and children’s dentistry. Schedule an appointment with us today!
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