Be a know-it-all on xylitol

Xylitol is a naturally occurring sweetener found in the fibers of many fruits and vegetables. Compared to sugar, it has fewer calories and zero carbohydrates.

But what’s really exciting about xylitol is that it’s a tooth-friendly sugar. Along with not encouraging tooth decay, it has been shown to actively aid in repairing minor cavities caused by tooth decay. How sweet is that!

Recent research shows that xylitol attracts and then “starves” harmful micro-organisms. Since bacteria don’t absorb well on the surface of the teeth when xylitol is present, the amount of plaque decreases. This helps stop tooth decay.

Where small cavities are beginning to form, xylitol helps there, too. Through a slight rise in pH due to the xylitol, calcium and other “good” nutrients begin to fill into the parts of a tooth’s enamel that need them. With continued use, calcium-deficient enamel sites begin to harden again.

Today, xylitol can be found in a variety of sugar-free products — most commonly in chewing gum — as well as in some newer toothpastes. Watch for “nature’s cavity fighter” next time you’re shopping.

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