How chewing Xylitol gum can help you prevent tooth decay

For years, conventional wisdom dictated that anyone looking to maintain a cavity-free smile should stay away from chewing gum.

Not anymore.

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More and more dentists are recommending chewing gum sweetened with Xylitol to their patients because the substance has been found to actually prevent tooth decay and cavities.

“It’s important to get the right amount in the gum you’re chewing,” advises Dr. Myrna Pearce of On Track Dental. “For it to really be effective, you need to chew gum with a high dose of Xylitol over an extended period of time.”

Xylitol is a sugar alcohol, a naturally occurring substance that can be sourced from many types of fruit and vegetables, and it’s currently used as a sugar substitute in a wide range of products. The main difference between Xylitol and other sugar substitutes such as Aspartame and Sorbitol is that Xylitol’s chemical makeup gives it the power to transform your mouth for the better.

“Xylitol does not only save your teeth from sugar, it also helps to prevent or slow tooth decay by balancing pH levels in the mouth, which in turn prevents a bacteria known as Streptococcus mutans from growing,” says Dr. Pearce.

These bacteria are a key cause of plaque, a substance that forms on your teeth and attacks the enamel, the hard outer layer, causing tooth decay. In addition, Xylitol can also prevent harmful bacteria from sticking to teeth.

Xylitol tastes like sugar and even looks like sugar in its raw form, a crystalline granule. But it’s also a lot healthier than sugar – Xylitol has about 2.4 calories per gram, 40% less than sugar.

The dentists at On Track Dental in Port Coquitlam typically recommend Xylitol products for anyone who is either prone to tooth decay or who is already beginning to see signs of it.

To learn more about tooth decay and how to prevent it, visit On Track Dental online, call 604-552-9700 or send them an email. You can visit On Track Dental at #2203 – 2850 Shaughnessy Street in Port Coquitlam. 

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