Xylitol is a sugar substitute that has been shown to be good for your child’s teeth! Instead of regular sugar which will create acid on the teeth that eat away at the tooth enamel, xylitol is naturally derived from plants. In fact, the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry has acknowledged xylitol as a good way to prevent dental cavities and lowering the levels of acid in the mouth.
Xylitol can be found in many fruits and vegetables such as mushrooms, berries, and even oats and birch. When compared to other artificial sweeteners, xylitol has almost no side effects. Lastly, it has a much lower caloric value compared to natural sugars and artificial sweeteners.
Xylitol can be found in most toothpastes, mints, chewing gum, or mouthwashes. The best way for kids to get xylitol is through sugar-free chewing gum. This is because gum also increases saliva production, which is another great way to wash plaque and acids out of the mouth. Chewing xylitol gum for around 10-20 minutes a day can help prevent dental cavities and tooth decay in your child’s teeth.
Obviously, we don’t recommend that xylitol be used as a replacement for good at-home oral hygiene. You should still make sure your child is brushing his or her teeth at least twice a day with fluoride toothpaste, flossing daily, and visiting our office every six months for a dental cleaning and an exam.
To make an appointment with a skilled child’s dentist, please contact Firestone Pediatric Dentistry & Orthodontics. Our office is located in Firestone, Colorado.