Xylitol is a naturally occurring substance that tastes like sugar. It is found naturally in many fruits and vegetables and is even produced by our bodies during normal metabolism. It is also extracted from birch trees, corncobs and other natural sources for use as a sweetener.
Why it pertains to oral health—Research has shown that the bad bacteria in our mouths do not digest Xylitol like they digest regular sugar. If they don’t have sugar to feast on, then they cannot function at a high level and cause decay. Xylitol is also effective at reducing the acidity of our saliva after meals and drinking soda.
Where you can find it—Xylitol is commonly found in chewing gum, candies, toothpastes, rinses and breath mints and drops. These items are called sugar free, but still taste sweet because of the Xylitol. These products are great not only for your child, but also for every adult. Chewing a piece of gum with Xylitol after a meal, snack or drink can really help your overall oral health without any of the bad side effects of sugar.