If you enjoy chewing sugarless gum after a meal, you may be doing more for your dental health than just freshening your breath. Over the years there have been some understandable and highly founded concerns about the long term detrimental health effects of various artificial sweeteners. Xylitol, however, is a natural, fibrous derivative that sweetens gum and mints without added calories and cavity risk. In fact, not only does xylitol make gum taste great, but the compound can actually protect your teeth from tooth decay and gum disease. Try this true-or-false quiz to learn more
Q1. True or false – Xylitol was discovered 20 years ago.
Q2. True or false – Xylitol is produced by the human body.
Q3. True or false – Xylitol stops tooth decay and repairs demineralized tooth enamel.
Q4. True or false – Xylitol kills bacteria in your mouth.
A1. FALSE – Xylitol is a bit more mature than that, having been introduced as a sugar substitute in the 1960s.
A2. TRUE – A naturally occurring carbohydrate, xylitol is extracted from fibrous vegetables and fruits. Xylitol is also natural produced by your body. If you have an average metabolism, you are likely to produce up to 15 grams of xylitol each and every day.
A3. TRUE – Even though xylitol is a sugar substitute, it is much better for your teeth than sugar. While sucrose feeds the bacteria which cause cavities, xylitol destroys these same germs. Beyond fighting tooth decay, xylitol can also repair tooth enamel damage.
A4. TRUE – Xylitol is not metabolized in the same way that your body breaks down sugar. Because of this, consumption of the compound helps keep a neutral oral pH balance. Plaque starts to develop when bacteria in your mouth mix with food debris and acid. Xylitol makes your teeth more slippery so germs can’t stick. They are then caught in the web of xylitol where many of the bacteria suffocate to death.
About Dr. Cabal
Dr. Ciro Cabal is a dedicated family orthodontist whose lifelong passion for providing exceptional dental care continues to this day as he serves patients of all ages from Ft. Worth, Azle, Saginaw, Springtown, Weatherford, Haslet, and the surrounding communities. To schedule an appointment to discuss invisible braces at our Ft. Worth orthodontist office, call Lake Country Orthodontics today at (817) 236-7846.