Dear Dr. Ellie,
Recently I have been seeing television ads about BIOTENE mouthwash, as well as seeing stocked on local store shelves.
I noted with interest that it contains, you guessed it: Xylitol.
What do you know about this product? Is it worth using, and if not what are its particular drawbacks?
Thanks for you question.
I am always happy to see xylitol as an ingredient in oral care products. The problem is, unless you follow patients closely for at least ten years, I do not know if you can really “measure” how good a product is.
For example, there are clinical trials that show Colgate Total is effective. I would not use it because the triclosan it contains reacts with chlorine in tap water to form chloroform in the mouth. This reaction obviously did not show up in lab testing.
I have years of clinical practice looking at the teeth of patients who were using the products I recommend. I LOOKED at teeth day in and day out. Personally, I only recommend the rinses I use (Closys, Listerine and ACT). I will only stand behind the things that I personally KNOW work for almost everyone.
I like the idea of combining dilute fluoride as a rinse with xylitol eaten after every meal, snack or drink. ACT is a great rinse and combined with regular small doses of xylitol should give you the results you desire. You will have to read my book (hopefully published later this year) to get the details of why I believe this. It is a 200 page discussion!!
On the other hand, if you love Biotene and your dentist has only wonderful things to say about your oral health it might be enough reason to use it!
Hope I helped answer your question fairly