Dear Dr. Ellie:
Will I receive the benefits of xylitol mints/gum if I use them after eating a snack then brushing my teeth afterwards? Does the xylitol have to remain on the teeth for a certain amount of time to get benefits? An example: I eat breakfast in the morning. Then should I use the mints before I do the brush/listerine/ACT routine. Or do the brushing routine, then use the xylitol? I’m trying to get the most out of all the products I use.
I would suggest doing the mouth rinse routine first and then eat your Zellies (preferably about half an hour after the rinse). Space your 6.5 grams of xylitol out over the day as much as you can after meals and drinks makes perfect sense.
The benefits of xylitol are that it brings minerals to teeth and works as an antibacterial. The length of time it takes for the antibacterial benefits is not known as far as I know and it may occur over time. I would not want to rinse these “benefits” away too soon!
The benefits of the mouth rinse routine are instant although they do last for as long as the final residue from the ACT is in contact with your teeth.
(Research shows that under normal conditions you continue to benefit for half an hour after rinsing, but you benefit from any amount of time however short). There is also research to show that xylitol and fluoride work in harmony and having a few extra minerals floating around cannot be anything but a benefit for your teeth.
On the remineralizing benefits:
Xylitol helps remineralize the deeper areas of a tooth and xylitol appears to help the tooth absorb calcium. Fluoride speeds remineralization of the outer enamel layers of teeth.
So the two together work like a team! Enjoy!
Thanks again for a very thoughtful question!
Ellie Phillips, DDS