What Is Xylitol and Is It Good for Your Kids?

Have your kids struggled with several cavities over the years? In fact, do they seem even more prone to dental decay than other kids their age? Genetics, hygiene habits, and diet can all affect a child’s likelihood of developing cavities. Fortunately, recent studies indicate that your children’s pediatric dentist might be able to help them prevent tooth decay through the use of a product called xylitol. Not only has this been shown to help minimize tooth sensitivity, it is now being studied as a means of preventing decay, in the first place.

Can Xylitol Help Protect Your Kids’ Smiles?

Xylitol is a compound from the Birch tree, which is considered a crystaline carbohydrate that is sweet, like sugar, but without the potential smile side effects that traditional sugar posseses. That is because xylitol is not a substance plaque bacteria can feed upon.

Xylitol is most commonly found as a sugar substitute in products like chewing gum, breath mints, and gum, but it can also be found in everything from peanut butter to baked goods. It can also be found in toothpastes.

As a parent, there could be benefit in seeking out xylitol-containing products for your kids, such as toothpatste and even sugar-free gum. That said, it is always best to speak directly with your children’s dentist, before making any major changes to their dental care routines or their diet.

How Else Can You Prevent Cavities?

Other ways the pediatric dentist might suggest helping protect their smiles could include the use of fluoride treatments, known to help prohibit acidic erosion, and of coruse, routine preventive cleanings.

If your kids are diagnosed with cavities, it is not the end of the world or even their beuatiful smiles. Restorative dentistry like dental fillings can usually help. Just remember, it is always best to prevent dental problems, in the first place, whenever possible.

filed under: Children's Dental Services, Preventive Treatments