Tooth decay starts with harmful bacteria in the mouth. Sugary foods give these bacteria energy to multiply and produce acids that dissolve the enamel of the tooth and cause decay. Xylitol has the opposite effect, inhibiting their growth, killing the bacteria (they can fall by as much as 90%) and preventing acid attacks. It also reduces the bacteria’s ability to stick to your teeth so plaque is easier to remove. You can find out more about how xylitol works here.
How do I make sure I get all the benefits of xylitol?
Dentists recommend you should have at least 5g of xylitol a day. Each pack of mints contains a 13.8g of xylitol and each pack of gum contains around 10.6g. Importantly, this 5g should be split into a few servings, ideally after each meal or snack (when there’s risk of acid attack). Try and keep the mint or gum in your mouth for at least a minute.
- Eating xylitol is good for dental health.
- Eating xylitol helps reduce plaque.
- Eating xylitol reduces the risk of tooth decay.
- Eat xylitol for healthier teeth.
- Eat xylitol after meals, two to three times.
- Xylitol has also been the subject of over 600 clinical studies which overwhelmingly demonstrate its ability to reduce plaque.
Does eating xylitol mean I don’t have to clean my teeth?Absolutely not. Xylitol is a very useful extra tool to help keep your teeth healthy but you definitely still need to brush at least twice daily, regularly visit your dentist.
From what age is xylitol gum/mints suitable for?Anyone aged 3 and up.
How much xylitol is it ok to eat in one day?
Xylitol is a polyol (a family of sugar alternatives) and as with all polyols, “excessive consumption” can cause a laxative effect. The good news though is that 25% to 50% of xylitol is absorbed in the intestine so it’s much better tolerated than some other sugar alternatives. So the big question is, how much is “excessive”? Well it completely depends on the individual as we are all different. Research has shown that the tolerance for xylitol can be up to 70g for adults and 40g for kids. To put this into perspective a whole pack of mints is 13.8g so will be well tolerated by most people (there are those that have a sensitivity to xylitol but even they can normally build a tolerance over time).
With all foods though moderation is best and you get all the dental benefits from 5g to 10g so there’s no need to eat whole packs at a time. The ideal way to eat them is to have a few mints or pieces of gum at regular intervals throughout the day.
If you’re concerned as you have other food sensitivities, you can start off with lower daily amounts of xylitol and increase them as your tolerance will increase over time.
Where can I buy xylitol gum/mints?
You can buy them from us or you can usually find it in health food shops