Xylitol in Drinks

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Dear Dr. Ellie:

I was wondering if putting the powdered Xylitol diminishes its effectiveness when place in hot drinks such as coffee or tea?
Since I’ve sworn off Slenda (my previous coffee and iced tea sweetener) and started putting in Xylitol I wondered if it was helping my oral program or causing the product to be ineffective because it was in a drink that would otherwise be damaging to my teeth.

I couldn’t find this answer on your blog.

Thanks – J

Hi J,
Any exposure to xylitol will be beneficial in that it will help to remove some plaque bacteria.

The ideal time to eat or drink xylitol is after meals or snacks, or whenever the mouth is dry or acidic (conditions which put teeth at increased risk).
Research has shown that frequency is very important if you are trying to eliminate plaque.

On the other hand, putting granular xylitol into an acidic drink complicates things.
The xylitol in the drink may be enough for somebody at very low risk, but I don’t think it is sensible to rely on it. The acidity of the tea or coffee is likely to cause damage to your teeth and this may be more than the xylitol can undo.

It would be a better suggestion to end after you finish the drink with a piece of xylitol gum, a breath mint, or little granular xylitol dissolved in some water.

Ellie Phillips DDS
Dental Health for Everyone!
Author, Kiss Your Dentist Goodbye

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