I’m sure we could all think back to a childhood experience of chomping on a big piece of sugary bubble gum and even blowing that big pink bubble. Though the memory most likely brings a smile to your face, chances are that gum habit could have been the cause of a few cavities to those young pearly whites.
When our own children ask for gum, we now wisely choose sugar-free options, but did you know that chewing gum containing Xylitol actually has some oral health benefits? Unlike other natural or synthetic sweeteners, Xylitol is actively beneficial for dental health by reducing caries (cavities) to a third in regular use, according to some recent studies.
Park View's Point of View
At Park View Pediatric Dentistry, we promote oral health education at all times, including dietary advice. This often includes good alternatives to snacks or treats that contain sugar. The goal at our practice is to always report cavity-free visits and educate our parents and young patients on the better choices needed to create a lifetime of healthy smiles. We also try to make oral health a fun, positive experience for children, and rather than deny them of some of the little treats they crave, offer healthy substitutes.
Therefore, we were pleased to educate you about the surprising benefits of Xylitiol, a sugarless, white crystalline substance that looks and tastes like sugar, and is now found in some chewing gum products.
What is Xylitol?
Xylitol is actually already right inside of us. Our bodies naturally produce between 5 to 10 grams every day from other foods that we eat, using our own energy paths. It is a natural, normal part of our everyday metabolism and not a strange or artificial substance. We can find in naturally in some of the foods that we already love like delicious fruits, berries, mushrooms, lettuce and corn on the cob. Xylitol has been researched for over 40 years, resulting in thousands of studies confirming its effectiveness and safety. Some people even cook with Xylitol, resulting in new recipe books, articles and videos.
What are some benefits of Xylitol?
Xylitol is also considered by many dental health groups as one of the newest and easiest ways that people can improve oral health, with its usage resulting in preventing tooth decay. It has the benefit of inhibiting the creation of acid in the mouth. This minimizes the damage to the teeth. Chewing gum containing Xylitol is something that tastes good and is good for you!
In a recent paper published by the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, they state the following:
“Numerous clinical studies have demonstrated a decrease in caries (cavities) rates, increment, and/or onset among children who were exposed to daily xylitol use for 12 to 40 months. Long- term benefits on caries rates, increment, and/or onset also have been observed up to five years after the cessation of xylitol intervention. Xylitol works most effectively on teeth that are erupting.”
Though we agree that gum chewing has its time and place, if your child wants that occasional piece of gum why go sugarless, when you can go sugar-free with added oral health benefits.
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Park View Pediatric Dentistry