Dear Dr. Ellie,
I can’t seem to find the answer on your website to the following question:
Is it best to let the Xylitol mints dissolve in your mouth or should you chew them?
Thanks for your very good question!
Xylitol works in three ways and describing them may help to answer it!
1. As you put some xylitol in your mouth it stimulates a flow of healthy saliva into your mouth ( so it does not matter if you dissolve the mints or chew them…this will happen)
2. Harmful bacteria absorb xylitol and try to process it. These bacteria cannot but they keep trying, until they gradually “wear” themselves out slowly disappearing from your saliva and from your mouth ( so it does not matter if you dissolve the mints or chew them…this will happen).
3. As you eat xylitol it raises the pH ( the measure of acid-base levels in your mouth) to make your mouth a healthy alkaline pH. At this alkaline pH there is a positive reaction that stimulates minerals to go into your teeth to repair and rebuild them ( so it does not matter if you dissolve the mints or chew them…this will happen).
The more often you eat xylitol the more often you will stimulate these three effects.
You need a certain level of xylitol for the above features to occur and 6.5 grams a day has been shown to be the minimum amount. There is a plateau at about 11 grams where you do not seem to achieve any extra benefits.
I would suggest spreading xylitol throughout the day ideally after any acidic snack or meal and also whenever your mouth feels acidic or dry.
Crunching up the zellies or sucking them is your personal choice!
In the same way, if kids chew the gum and quickly spit it out that is OK, since the “goodness” will have come out of the first minute of chewing!
Good luck and be sure to let me know how much xylitol helps you in your quest for ultimate dental health!
Thanks again for your interest in Zellies,
Ellie Phillips DDS
Dental Health for Everyone!
26, Corporate Woods,
Rochester NY 14623