Hi Dr. Phillips,
Just a quick question on your posting on Hygiene town. In regards to putting Xylitol in a bottle of water, how much do you recommend? I hadn’t thought of this but it is a great way to get it to my elderly patients who are in skilled nursing facilities who can’t have gums or mints. Actually, it is great for a lot of my patients.
Thanks for your message.
Recommended Daily Dosage:
The recommended dose for xylitol to eradicate Strep. mutans is between 6.5 and 10 grams daily.
That would be between one heaped teaspoon ( 6 grams) and two level “teaspoons” ( 10 grams).
Xylitol will only be useful as a plaque control system if this daily dosage is split into at least 3-5 separate exposures, and is best after meals.
I like to think of xylitol as a “tooth wash” something after meals, snacks and drinks.
Most people have 3-5 meals a day.
Young or Elderly Patients:
For young or elderly, I would suggest you start at the low end of the dose and gradually work to a higher dosage over time. This allows a patient to adjust to xylitol which introduces extra fiber to their system. Interestingly xylitol helps conditions like acid reflux symptoms and promotes bone remineralization for osteoporosis. It is excellent for thrush, candical infections, denture stomatitis and angular cheilitis.
Xylitol Portion Packets:
Individual portion packets of xylitol are useful (they look like little sugar packets).
Each packet contains 4 grams. These little packets make it easy to get the correct daily amount.
I usually recommend 2 individual portion packets of xylitol daily dissolved in water and sipped throughout the day.
For someone with plaque problems (who is also using mints and gum) I recommend a mix and match approach. This would be one 4 gram packet dissolved in 16 oz water PLUS xylitol mints or gum after meals. This gives 4 grams( in the packet) extra xylitol from the gum and mints ( most 100 percent xylitol gum has 1 gram xylitol in each piece and mints
I recommend putting xylitol into water to people who are already using a daily water bottle at work, athletes, children etc. I find the mix and match approach helps ensure sufficient daily xylitol for patients. Research shows that less than 4 grams xylitol daily will not be sufficient to produce beneficial oral health changes.
Good Advice for our Patients:
As health advisers, I feel we must be creative and communicate with our patients.
We must understand the daily habits of our patients and suggest ideas to fit their lifestyle.
If we do not understand habits, no matter what we suggest, it will not become part of their lives and (however good the advice) it will not work!
I have the same philosophy about flossing. If patients have trouble flossing, screaming to “floss more” will not be successful. Let’s be more creative and look at what else would work…..like xylitol! Granular xylitol provides an inexpensive way to enjoy oral health. A one-pound bag of granular xylitol (from any health food store) will cost about $7 One pound gives 112 teaspoons ( which would be a 3 months supply of daily “teaspoons)!
Feel free to refer patients who cannot floss to my website and suggest they try my Complete Mouth Care System no flossing necessary! I developed this system for disabled adults who were concerned about their teeth. I created a rinse only system that protects oral health and works for anyone who dislikes or has trouble flossing.
Feel free to send this message to others who may be interested. I love to spread the word about xylitol (since most dental organizations appear to have “overlooked” its amazing benefits!)
Hope this helps.
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Rochester, NY 14623