Xylitol is a 5-carbon ring sugar derived from birch trees, fruit and vegetables and used in food additives, oral healthcare preparations, pharmaceuticals and toothpaste . It is a natural sweetener that, when incorporated in oral hygiene products, helps prevent bacterial growth and subsequent acid production in the mouth, which causes caries. Consequently the level of dental decay is lower and bacteria are unable to form plaque, the cause of caries and halitosis. The safety of xylitol in foods and oral care products is well documented.
Xylitol has demonstrated strong anti-microbial activities, especially against damaging bacteria (Streptococcus Mutans) in the mouth that produce acids and “acid attack”. Xylitol replaces the need for fluoride, parabens and triclosan ingredients in specialty toothpastes.
Xylitol destroys bacteria responsible for caries. Xylitol prevents adherence of bacteria to the surface of the teeth. Xylitol creates more alkaline saliva and thus reduces the acid. As a result, Xylitol reduces plaque and protects against gum inflammation and gingivitis and caries.
Xylitol provides the conditions for a more alkaline saliva to lubricate the mouth cavity. When the pH is above 7 (alkaline), calcium and phosphate salts in saliva move into those parts of the enamel that are weak and therefore soft, and calcium-deficient enamel sites are hardened. Xylitol replaces the need for fluoride in the mineralisation process.
Xylitol is a natural sugar that is not broken down to acids by bacteria and can replace artificial sweeteners (saccharin, aspartame), used to mask the bitter taste of other essential toothpaste ingredients.
In 1983, a joint expert committee of the World Health Organization and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations confirmed that Xylitol is a safe sweetener for foods and ingested products.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration also confirmed this fact in 1986. Other organisations including the various EU regulatory agencies followed suit.
The American Pregnancy Association, promoting pregnancy wellness, lists xylitol as a sugar alcohol and include xylitol and sorbitol in sweeteners considered safe for consumption during pregnancy..
Xylitol is not only safe for pregnant and nursing women, but studies show that regular use significantly reduces the transmission of Streptococcus mutans (responsible for tooth decay) from mother to child during the first two years of life by as much as 80%.
Stevia extract is from the Stevia Rebaudiana plant and is a natural sweetener that, like Xylitol, is not broken down into acids by bacteria in the mouth, and helps clean teeth and gums. This again replaces the need for artificial sweeteners that may cause potential health problems.
Read more about Xylitol
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