Sometimes our patients at The Fayetteville Dentist ask if chewing xylitol-sweetened gum is an effective substitute for tooth brushing and regular dental exams. The short answer? No! But before we explain, 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 your teeth.
Numerous clinical studies have shown that xylitol inhibits the growth of the bacteria that initiates cavities. It also minimizes plaque and strengthens tooth enamel.
Xylitol has other benefits, as well. Because it is low on the glycemic index, many of our 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 not causing cavities.
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 The Fayetteville Dentist in Fayetteville NC, our goal is to keep your smile healthy and beautiful for life. We offer general and cosmetic dentistry. Schedule your next checkup and cleaning with us today!
Contact The Fayetteville Dentist:
Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):