Xylitol: Your New Friend with Benefits
What if I told you that your one night stand could actually turn into a long-term relationship? Years from now you could be looking back saying to yourself, “Wow, I’m so happy I picked up the gift that just keeps on giving back in 2015!”
Why yes, I AM talking about long term dental benefits you can get from incorporating xylitol into your daily regimen (what did you think I was talking about?).
Having friends with benefits can be incredibly convenient and fulfilling. What’s not to like about having a ‘no-strings attached’ relationship with a sugar that tastes great and is good for you?
Xylitol’s dating profile
If xylitol had an online dating profile it might sound something like this: I am a natural sweetener derived from a plant, that doesn’t break down like your nasty ex named Sugar. Instead, I help keep a neutral pH and prevent cavity-causing bacteria from sticking to teeth. The troublesome bugs aren’t able to digest me, and as a result of the higher pH, they can’t reproduce or make smelly, bad breath causing acids. Call me.
Although most friends with benefits are meant to be a temporary thing, once you start adding xylitol into your regular schedule and see the results, you will definitely discuss taking the next step. A long-term relationship with xylitol can provide a 59% reduction in tooth decay, which has been seen to last for up to 5 years, even if you break up!
These lasting effects have been explained by assuming that repeated exposure of oral flora to xylitol causes the bacteria in our mouths to transform into low-virulent bacterial flora on the surfaces of the teeth. These, and the results below should be considered when recommending different cost-benefit ratios of caries prevention.
- Less acid and less bacteria
- More alkaline saliva
Now unlike most friends with benefits, I highly encourage you to introduce this one to your friends, family and patients!