At Falls Pointe Dental in Raleigh, our patients often ask the dentist if chewing xylitol gum is an effective substitute for tooth brushing and regular dental exams.
Before answering that, here’s a little bit about xylitol:
Xylitol is a natural sweetener that was first discovered in birch tree bark but is also found in many fruits and vegetables. Unlike most other sweeteners (natural or synthetic), it is actually beneficial for your teeth.
Numerous clinical studies have demonstrated that xylitol inhibits the growth of the bacteria that initiates decay. It also helps curb plaque and strengthens tooth enamel.
Xylitol has other benefits, as well. Because it is low on the glycemic index, many of our patients with diabetes enjoy it as a healthy alternative to sugar. For patients that cope with frequent dry mouth, we recommend xylitol gum or mints to stimulate saliva production while protecting against decay.
Now, back to the golden question. Is xylitol gum just as effective as brushing your teeth and seeing your family dentist regularly? Absolutely not! If you cannot brush your teeth after a meal, chewing xylitol gum for five or ten minutes is probably a good idea. However, you should still brush your teeth thoroughly (with a soft brush) after meals and get twice-yearly exams and dental cleanings.
At Falls Pointe Dental in Raleigh, our goal is to keep your smile healthy and beautiful for life by preventing dental troubles before they start. Is it time for a dental exam? Our services include general and cosmetic dentistry. Schedule your next appointment with us today.