Xylitol is a naturally occurring sugar alcohol found in plant material, including many fruits and vegetables. Although sugar substitutes have their respective drawbacks, xylitol is still supported by the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) as “an acceptable non-cariogenic sugar substitute”. In layman’s terms, this means it doesn’t cause cavities! In fact, it does the opposite. The bacteria in our mouths that cause cavities are unable to digest xylitol and therefore, their bacterial growth is reduced when we consume it. Here are some steps for safe consumption of xylitol:
~ For children with a high risk of decay, 3-8g/day is a safe, recommended dose. Adults should consume no more than 20g/day.
~ If higher doses are consumed, side effects may occur such as gas/other GI-related issues.
~ Parents should always monitor anything that their children consume.
~ Keep xylitol away from your furry friends, it is toxic to dogs.
Xylitol can be found in many foods, chewing gums, candies and toothpastes. Our office now carries xylitol lollipops for our patients, be sure to grab one next time you visit us!