Tooth decay is one of the worst afflictions that can affect your teeth, as cavities can cause problems like tooth loss, infected gums, and abscessed teeth. Dentists work hard to protect your teeth by providing dental checkups, cleanings, and specialized services. In addition, there are treatments you can perform at home to protect yourself from decay, such as brushing your teeth and flossing. For instance, Xylitol, a common sweetener, is a popular alternative to sugar, which is a frequent contributor to cavity development. By replacing sugar, it can help you avoid one of the most significant factors behind tooth decay development.
Why You Should Substitute Sugar
Oral bacteria create acid, which attacks your enamel and eventually wears a hole in it. The bacteria then infect the inside layers of the tooth, and begin to decay it. Sugar from certain foods and drinks helps the bacteria produce more acid. However, Xylitol, a natural sweetener derived from plants, stops bacterial growth and existing bacteria from sticking to your teeth. This combination can, over time, reduce the amount of oral bacteria you develop.
How Can You Use Xylitol to Protect Your Teeth
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry suggests that Xylitol products can be part of your strategy to prevent tooth decay, particularly the chewing gum. The amount needed to be beneficial depends on several factors, including age, but the general recommendation is 3-8 grams a day. Expectant mothers can ingest this sweetener to reduce the number of cavities their child might develop. You can speak with your dentist about the best places to find Xylitol products.
Other Strategies for Preventing Tooth Decay
This sweetener cannot prevent tooth decay on its own; it is most effective when paired with other protective measures. Make sure to brush your teeth twice a day with fluoridated toothpaste, and floss at least once. Also, be sure to visit your dentist at least once every six months, or more often if we recommend it to prevent dental issues from forming or growing worse.
ABOUT YOUR SOUTHLAKE FAMILY DENTISTS:
As a native Texan, Gregory Wright, DDS, opened his private practice in Southlake, TX in 1992. He and Dr. Victoria Heron are happily accepting new patients from Southlake, Grapevine, Keller, Trophy Club, Colleyville, and all surrounding communities. To learn more, call our office today at (817) 481-7999.