July 27, 2023

Is xylitol good for oral health?

If you’ve heard of xylitol as an alternative to sugar, you may wonder if it’s a healthier substitute! Is xylitol better for you? Is it a good idea to opt for xylitol during orthodontic treatment?

Here’s everything you need to know!

What is xylitol?

Xylitol is a sugar alcohol that serves as a sugar substitute. It’s commonly used in chewing gum, mints, and other oral care products. While it may not be as well-known as other ingredients, xylitol holds a number of benefits for oral health!

Benefits of xylitol

1. Xylitol reduces bacteria in the mouth.

Xylitol helps to reduce the amount of bacteria in the mouth. Bacteria in the mouth cannot digest xylitol the way they can digest other sugars, so they don’t produce the acid that leads to tooth decay. This reduction in bacteria can help to prevent tooth decay and gum disease.

2. Xylitol gum stimulates saliva production

Xylitol gum stimulates saliva production. Saliva is important for oral health, because it helps to neutralize the acid in the mouth and wash away food particles and bacteria. By stimulating saliva production, xylitol gum helps to keep your smile clean and healthy!

3. Xylitol toothpaste can help prevent cavities!

Xylitol toothpaste holds many of the same benefits as xylitol gum. Can xylitol reverse cavities?
Yes! Xylitol can help reduce the amount of bacteria in the mouth, stimulate saliva production, and prevent tooth decay and gum disease.

Xylitol toothpaste can help to remineralize teeth that have been damaged by acid. This ingredient increases the uptake of calcium and phosphate, which are essential minerals for healthy teeth.

Does xylitol whiten teeth?

While xylitol does not directly whiten teeth, it does strengthen the enamel, which can make teeth appear whiter by reducing discoloration and plaque buildup!

How to use xylitol for teeth

One of the easiest ways to experience the benefits of xylitol is by chewing xylitol gum after meals and adding xylitol toothpaste to your oral hygiene routine.

Whether you have braces or clear aligners, you can opt for xylitol toothpaste to help maintain a healthy smile! It’s best to avoid chewing gum if you have braces, because the sticky properties of gum can pull a wire out of place or loosen a bracket. If you have Invisalign®, be sure to take your clear aligners out before chewing xylitol gum.

While xylitol can supplement your oral hygiene routine, products like xylitol gum should not be used to replace any part of your oral hygiene routine.

Don’t forget to brush and floss your teeth frequently (ideally after each meal), visit your dentist for regular check-ups and cleanings, and visit us for your treatment check-ins!

Still have questions about xylitol in your oral hygiene routine?

Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us with any questions! We’re here to provide you with all of the tips you need to maintain a beautiful, healthy smile throughout your orthodontic treatment.

Have more questions? Check out our braces FAQs and request your complimentary consultation with Dr. Andrews and our experienced team at our Augusta or Grovetown orthodontist office!