How Xylitol Can Benefit Your Child’s Oral Health
Caring for your child’s teeth can be challenging, but caring for their teeth is an essential part of improving their oral health over time and ensuring they have healthy teeth in the future. Even with numerous reminders to brush their teeth, helping them understand why brushing their teeth is important, sometimes encouraging them through other means can benefit both you and your child in good oral care. Xylitol, an artificial sweetener, can help encourage your child to brush their teeth and keep their teeth clean and shining each day.
Here, we’re diving this sweetener to help you understand its benefits and how it protects your child’s teeth.
What is Xylitol?
Xylitol naturally occurs in fruits and vegetables, and when processed, becomes an artificial sweetener. Xylitol is a sugar alcohol that tastes sweet but has fewer calories than processed sugar. Xylitol has been used in infusion therapy for diabetic patients. It has gained a reputation as a sweetener for candies, chewing gum, and even toothpaste for its ability to control blood sugar and reduce the rate of tooth decay.
Why is Xylitol Used in Toothpaste?
Xylitol, according to certain studies, can reduce the number of bacteria that develop when consuming carbohydrates and fermented sugars. Sugar is normally cariogenic, meaning that the sugars, when broken down by bacteria, turn into lactic acid, damaging the tooth’s enamel over time when contained in plaque. Xylitol is an unfermented sugar alcohol, meaning that the bacteria that attempt to process the sugars cannot produce lactic acid. Some experts also believe that xylitol can kill off cariogenic bacteria by interfering with its consumption and protecting the teeth.
Is Xylitol Safe For Kids?
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry states that the use of xylitol for preventing tooth decay and cavities. The California Dental Association recommends that the daily intake of xylitol be 5 grams, such as chewing gum at least three to five times per day. However, Xylitol toothpaste is recommended by many pediatric dentists for its cavity-fighting qualities and is safe for children to use. However, xylitol is especially toxic to dogs because dogs cannot process the unfermented sugar alcohol.
The Takeaway for Xylitol Toothpaste
So, should you use xylitol toothpaste for your kids? Xylitol is a highly positive sugar replacement that aids in preventing tooth decay and can be used in toothpaste as an integrative way to help protect your child from cavities. If you decide to use xylitol toothpaste, use it as part of your child’s oral hygiene routine. Please do not use xylitol as a replacement for standard dental care. Visiting the dentist is a great part of caring for your child’s teeth, and if you have any more questions, please contact your general or pediatric dentists to ask if xylitol is right for your child’s oral care.
If you reside in Noblesville, IN and wish to schedule a dental appointment, contact Dr. Sam Bullard at Smiling Kids Pediatric Dentistry today to learn more about your child’s oral health and how we can help care for their teeth.