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Sugar is rotting more than your teeth.

Xylitol to the rescue!

It’s true. A tablespoon here, a few packets there, a cube or two with your afternoon tea. It adds up faster than you might imagine. And while satisfying the old sweet tooth is a pleasure that we’re all guilty of, it’s important to understand that consuming excessive amounts of sugars can do significant damage to more than just your beautiful smile. Unfortunately, the problem doesn’t stop at table sugar. In fact, the most detrimental sugars are often hidden in popular processed foods and beverages. High fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is a perfect example. Made popular in the 1970’s, HCFS is commonly used in soda, jelly, candy, sauces, condiments, beer, cookies, breakfast cereals and many more. After a chemically-intense extraction and treatment process, all that remains is an extremely sweet, nutritionally depleted chemical that’s inexpensive to manufacture with an extremely high glycemic rating.

  • High Glycemic Sweeteners: Within the body, high glycemic sweeteners are among the most unfavorable, as they can reduce insulin sensitivity and encourage the body to store greater amounts of fat. The public has been made well aware of the influence sugar can have on tooth decay and weight gain. Still, diets high in sugar can lead to a number of health ailments that only seem to generate the attention they deserve after it’s too late. The glycemic index of sugar tops out near 100, while Xylitol is closer to seven.
  • Don’t panic: Nature has blessed us with a host of natural sweeteners that can serve as much healthier alternatives. One of the most exciting of the bunch is Xylitol: an all-natural sugar alcohol that was initially discovered in the 1800’s. Only now, however, is it getting its due recognition. Let’s investigate. If the name sounds familiar, it should. Xylitol has been the subject of intense study for close to 30 years, and the findings continue to prove that Xylitol is the “real deal” when it comes to sugar substitutes. For starters, Xylitol looks, and has the same texture as sugar. Side by side, it would be practically impossible to distinguish one from the other. With regards to taste, it’s sweet, but not nearly as overpowering as the sugar we’ve grown accustomed to. Finally, it mixes instantly and has become a favorite in kitchens for baking and dessert preparation.Despite how similar this crystalline compound is to conventional sugar, it also possesses a number of interesting advantages. One of the most notable is in its caloric value. Xylitol has approximately 40% fewer calories than regular table sugar. This is due to the slower pace at which Xylitol is absorbed and partially utilized. At 2.4 calories per gram vs. 4 calories per gram in conventional sugar, it’s easy to see why Xylitol has created such a stir among calorie counters.
  • Unique: What makes Xylitol genuinely unique lies in the long list of health benefits that have been demonstrated in numerous studies. Unlike table sugar and HCFS, Xylitol does not promote cavities. Studies have shown that when consumed in chewing gums, tooth pastes, oral rinses, mints and hard candies, Xylitol is a smart choice for individuals concerned with dental health. Moreover, Xylitol has received official endorsements from six International Dental Associations.
  • Absorbtion: A huge advantage of this natural, low calorie sugar alcohol is that the body does not metabolize Xylitol in quite the same manner that it metabolizes sugar. Instead, Xylitol is absorbed at a much slower rate, and as a result, does not cause blood sugar and insulin levels to spike in the fashion that conventional sugar does.
  • Bacterial Growth: Sugar can help harmful bacteria to grow. Xylitol, on the other hand, cannot be utilized by these bacteria.
  • Natural: Xylitol is a completely natural substance, unlike many commercially marketed artificial sweeteners. This deems it a completely safe alternative to conventional sugar for people of every age.


Less Bacteria, Less Acid – Healthier Teeth!

Tooth decay happens when bacteria in your mouth consume the sugars we eat. When you eat food containing ordinary sugar (sucrose), it gives bacteria on your teeth energy, allowing them to multiply and start making acids that can eat away the enamel on the teeth. This “acid attack” causes tooth decay and cavities to begin to form.

Xylitol is a natural sweetener derived from the fibrous parts of plants. It does not break down like sugar and can help keep a neutral pH level in the mouth. Xylitol also prevents bacteria from sticking to the teeth. This is how it protects the teeth from tooth decay. With the dental benefits of Xylitol, the acid attack that would otherwise last for over half an hour is stopped. Most people are not aware of this benefit because such a claim makes xylitol into a drug, crossing a boundary not allowed by the Food and Drug Administration.

Because the bacteria in the mouth that are causing cavities are unable to digest xylitol, their growth is greatly reduced. The number of acid-producing bacteria may fall as much as 90%. No acid is formed because the pH of saliva and plaque does not fall. After taking xylitol, the bacteria do not stick well on the surface of the teeth and as a result, the amount of plaque decreases.


Strive for Five.

New research shows that the more you use Xylitol throughout the day, the better.

How much Xylitol should I use?
The older research with xylitol always specified an amount 6-10 grams as being the “sweet spot”. Newer research has actually shown better how to use xylitol, and that the quantity is not the most important, but the number of exposures throughout the day. We want to get at least 4-5 exposures of 100% xylitol spread throughout the day. When products that contain HSH, sorbitol, maltitol and other sweeteners are used their effectiveness is diminished and you will need to use much more product. Remember that we are trying to “starve” the bacteria, and providing all of those other sugars that feed the bacteria makes the job that much more difficult. So rather than thinking in terms of “how much” think in terms of “how often”.

How to Use Xylitol
It is not necessary to replace all sweeteners to get the dental benefits of xylitol. Look for xylitol sweetened products that encourage chewing or sucking to keep the xylitol in contact with your teeth. The best items are 100% xylitol. Next best are items where xylitol is the principal sweetener. Always make sure there are no acids in the products.

How often should I use Xylitol?
If used only occasionally or even as often as once a day, xylitol may NOT be effective, regardless of the amount. Use xylitol at least three, and preferably 5 times every day. Remember the following Strive for 5 program:
Strive For 5:

  1. Use Xylitol toothpaste, mouthwash, and nasal spray upon waking up
  2. After breakfast use Xylitol gum, mints, or candy
  3. After lunch use Xylitol gum, mints, or candy
  4. After dinner use Xylitol gum, mints, or candy
  5. Use Xylitol toothpaste, mouthwash, and nasal spray upon going to bed

When should I use Xylitol?
Use immediately upon waking up in the form of toothpaste and mouthwash. After breakfast us a candy or chewing gum with xylitol. After lunch use a few pieces of candy or gum, and then again after dinner. Before going to bed in the evening be sure to brush with xylitol toothpaste and use a xylitol mouthwash. There is a dental floss available with xylitol that helps get it in between the teeth. Spry is a company that makes many of the Xylitol products mentioned in this article.

Remember that throughout the day any time you would normally use chewing gum or eat candy make sure you are using xylitol sweetened products. There is an increased benefit up to 6-7 times a day.

Repair damaged teeth!

Repairing damaged enamel
Research has shown that the use of xylitol also helps repair damaged teeth by helping to strengthen the enamel. Saliva in itself protects the mouth and teeth. Stimulated saliva in particular contains all the components needed to repair early cavities. If sugar is only taken a couple of times a day, the saliva can do the job alone. But most people take sugar so often that the mouth’s own defensive tools are not enough.

Balance Saliva PH
The dental benefits of xylitol also include saliva. Saliva that has xylitol is more alkaline than saliva stimulated by other sugar products. After taking xylitol products, the concentration of basic amino acids and ammonia in saliva and plaque may rise, and plaque pH rises as well. When pH is above 7, calcium and phosphate salts in saliva start to move into those parts of enamel that are weak. Therefore, soft, calcium-deficient enamel sites begin to harden again.

Long-term Savings
While reversing a rising trend of negative health and high health-care costs won’t happen overnight, improving your own health can begin sooner than later, and the dental benefits of xylitol can have a significant influence on that trend.

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