Our FYI list covering Xylitol.

- This page contains facts and information about xylitol and how it can be used in the prevention of cavities.

  • Each item below has a link you can use to access more details about its topic.
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  • Xylitol studies have shown decay reductions of 60% and more.

    There are a number of research studies that have documented significant reductions in tooth decay rates of people who regularly consume xylitol.

  • Xylitol has the same sweetening power as sugar.

    Xylitol has about the same sweetness level as regular table sugar. That means you'll use the same amounts you're used to when sweetening things.

  • Here's a list of some of the better brands of xylitol chewing gum that we found.

    We looked for products that have a xylitol content of around 1 gram per piece and readily document this fact on their packaging.

  • How much xylitol do adults need?

    Use the "more information" link for details about how much xylitol an adult needs to consume each day to create optimal anti-cavity protection.

  • You'll be amazed at all of the different types of xylitol products.

    Beyond just chewing gum, you can choose from mints, lozenges, hard and soft candies, chocolate, lollipops and syrup.

  • Compare products, with some one "serving" may be 2 or more pieces.

    When comparing similar products, make sure to read their labels. With some brands of gum and candy, creating a single xylitol "serving" may require the use of 2 or more pieces.

  • Xylitol contains about 1/3 fewer calories than table sugar.

    One gram of xylitol has 2.4 calories whereas sucrose contains 3.87. That's roughly 38% less.

  • Consuming additional amounts of xylitol doesn't create extra protection.

    Taking more xylitol than is needed doesn't increase your level of protection. It just makes it more likely that you'll experience side effects.

  • Spread out your xylitol intake throughout the day.

    To get xylitol's maximum benefit, you'll need to break your daily needed amount into 4 or more doses, spread throughout the day.

  • Xylitol disrupts the growth of cavity-causing bacteria.

    Xylitol makes it harder for bacteria to cause cavities in a number of different ways. Use the "more information" link for an overview.

  • Low-quality products will substitute sorbitol or manitol for xylitol.

    Some manufacturers will skimp on xylitol content in favor of cheaper, less effective "sugarless" sweeteners. Here're some tips on how to evaluate a product's ingredient list so you'll know.

  • Syrup or granular-form xylitol is safest for small children.

    Chewing gum, candies and the like can pose a choking hazard for very young children.

  • How much xylitol do children need?

    Use the "more information" link for details about how much xylitol a child needs to consume each day to create optimal anti-cavity protection.

  • Xylitol's protection can remain long after its consumption has ceased.

    The anti-cavity protection formed by xylitol use can linger on for months or years after a person has totally stopped consuming it.

  • The children of mothers who use xylitol can get an anti-cavity benefit too.

    Even without any direct exposure to xylitol at all, the children of mothers who use it can inherit anti-cavity protection too.

  • Xylitol is not safe for dogs and possibly other types of pets too.

    Xylitol consumption is very safe for humans but ingesting it can be harmful to some types of pets, most notably dogs.

  • Tips on how to pick out the best xylitol chewing gum products.

    Look for brands that contain around 1 gram of xylitol per serving. Or compare products by evaluating their ingredient list. Here's how...

  • Granular xylitol probably provides the cheapest source.

    Look for granular xylitol sold in bulk (usually 1 or 2.5 pound bags). Adults only need about two teaspoonfuls each day, which makes this a very cost-effective source.

  • Tips on how to pick out the best xylitol toothpaste products.

    Look for brands that have a xylitol content of 25% or more. When in doubt, compare products by reading their ingredient list. Here's how...

  • Here's a list of some of the better brands of xylitol toothpaste that we found.

    We looked for products that had comparatively high xylitol content and readily documented this fact on their packaging.

  • Why not make your own xylitol rinse? It's easy to do.

    You can save some money by making your own homemade xylitol rinse. Here're instructions how...

  • The industrial production of xylitol usually starts off with plant fibers.

    In most cases, the raw materials used to make xylitol commercially are either hardwood trees or corn cobs.

  • Xylitol offers more anti-cavity benefits than sorbitol or manitol.

    The fact that the bacteria that cause tooth decay can't use xylitol as a food source makes it an even better cavity fighter than other "sugarless" alternatives.

  • Xylitol can assist in healing damaged teeth.

    Xylitol helps to promote conditions that favor tooth remineralization (the reverse of tooth decay). It can also assist with this process.

  • The first xylitol dental studies were published in the mid 1970's.

    Dental researchers in Finland were the first to evaluate xylitol's anti-cavity effects. Since then, other studies have documented its effectiveness too.

  • Xylitol's safety has been well documented.

    Especially in the quantities needed for cavity protection, xylitol is unquestionably safe to use. Many countries throughout the world have approved its use as a food additive.

  • The best products typically show xylitol it at the start of their ingredient list.

    Types of products will vary but generally look for xylitol listed up front. Also, be wary if you see cheaper, less-effective sugarless sweeteners shown too. Here's how to evaluate an ingredient list...

  • The bacteria that cause cavities can't use xylitol as food.

    Since they can't digest it, the presence of xylitol creates a starvation effect for the bacteria that cause tooth decay. Here're more details...

  • Xylitol is a naturally-occurring compound.

    Many fruits and vegetables contain relatively significant levels of xylitol. Your own body manufactures some of it every day.

  • Xylitol is related to other sugarless sweeteners, like sorbitol and manitol.

    Xylitol, sorbitol and manitol are all "sugar alcohols" and can be used as "sugarless" sweeteners. Xylitol, however, provides more anti-cavity benefits.

  • Xylitol costs more than regular sugar, possibly significantly so.

    The cost of granular xylitol, even when bought in bulk, can be 5 to 10 times of cost of table sugar. But the daily amount you need to prevent cavities is so small that it's actually still a great bargain.

  • Xylitol side effects are usually just minor and easily controlled.

    Xylitol may cause some minor gastrointestinal issues. They're usually easy to control by adjusting your dosing amounts.

  • Baking recipes that involve yeast won't work with xylitol.

    Similar to cavity-causing bacteria, yeast can't digest xylitol either. That means that it can't be successfully used with recipes (like bread) that require yeast to rise.

  • It takes months for optimal anti-cavity protection to form.

    You'll need to continue with your xylitol regimen for at least 6 months before you reach the point of maximum anti-cavity protection.

  • Fluoride and xylitol can be used together to fight cavities.

    Xylitol and fluoride are both effective cavity fighters and can be used together. In fact, some brands of toothpaste and oral rinse contain both.

  • Chewing gum probably makes the best xylitol source.

    Gum is a handy and convenient delivery system for xylitol. And just the act of chewing it provides some anti-cavity benefits on its own.

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