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Palos Pediatric Dentistry

Xylitol – A SWEET Way to Prevent Cavities

December 1, 2015
Posted By: Dr. Richard Facko
woman with grandchild | children's dentist in palos height il

Replacing Sugar to Reduce Cavities

If there was a natural food that tasted sweet, was relatively inexpensive, could be used to sweeten your coffee or tea, or even a pan of brownies, was sugar-free, and helped to rid your mouth of cavity-causing bacteria and reduce plaque levels, would you yell “Hallelujah!”?  Well, there is such a product, and it's called XYLITOL!

Xylitol is a naturally-occurring sugar that was first discovered in the bark of birch trees.  It has been used in the medical profession for post-operative, burn, and shock patients.  It is also recommended by some physicians as a sweetener for diabetic patients.  Studies are currently being conducted on the affect of xylitol on acute otitis media, or middle ear infections.  It's truly an amazing thing, and it's SWEET!

Xylitol has been shown in studies to significantly lower the level of plaque on teeth.  Xylitol also lowers the ability of harmful bacteria to “stick” to your teeth.  Additionally, xylitol reduces the number of harmful, cavity-causing bacteria in your mouth.  Any takers yet?

Here's the catch.  There is a minimum effective dose, meaning that if you use less than the recommended amount of xylitol, it  has no measurable effect..  For adults, the optimal level of xylitol use is 4-10 grams per day divided into at least 4 separate doses.  This can be achieved in a number of ways:

  • Chewing gum containing 1 gram of xylitol 4 times per day
  • Sweetening coffee or tea with at least 1 gram of xylitol 4 times per day
  • Having a sucker or other candy that contains at least 1 gram of xylitol 4 times per day
  • OR, any combination of the above, along with any other form of xylitol at least 4 times per day


A Recommendation from Dr. Richard Facko

I have no affiliation with Dr. John's Candies, but I recommend them because they use xylitol as the primary sweetener in their products, while other companies use artificial sweeteners like sorbitol as the main sweetener and add a small amount of xylitol so they can market their products as “contains xylitol”.  Xylitol is more expensive that other artificial sweeteners and it can be difficult to find products that contain at least 1 gram per serving.

Try xylitol today and start seeing the benefits!


Contact Us

To learn more, contact Palos Pediatric Dentistry in Palos Heights to make an appointment with Dr. Richard Facko.

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