Benefits of Xylitol

Dear Dr. Ellie

Thanks for all your mouth care suggestions. I think the main problem is trying to fit Xylitol into a lifestyle. And this brings me to a related question. When I create “Z-Water”, is there a certain concentration I need to have? I’ve been putting 4 grams in 6 oz of water. But can Xylitol still work at 4 grams in 32 oz?

Also, when drinking, is it necessary / important to swish the water around before swallowing, or can the water just be “chugged”? When I drink the water, I always try to swish it around my teeth so that the Xylitol goes everywhere. However, I don’t think I ever saw on your blog that a person needs to swish it around. I think you had said that it was just important to drink it, helping to get the 6-10 grams of Xylitol each day. Does a person just need to ingest 6-10 grams of Xylitol, or do the teeth have to be directly exposed to it?

Thanks again with your help on this. I’m only getting a little hint of the frustration you must feel when you tell people how to gain oral health, and they sabotage it themselves (and probably blame you!).


Hi T,

Thanks for thinking about me and how I feel! I really enjoy what I do. I have been talking with patients long enough to generally keep a sense of humor about what I can do for them and what is impossible! Education is a listening process – and I discovered my system of rinses by talking and listening to patients.

I was working with disabled patients – and we experimented with one rinse after the other – for years and years. It was only by talking, looking and changing one thing at a time – that I discovered this system.  I base much of what I recommend on these experiences – combined with Evidence Based and other good research that comes out to support the elements of my system.

As far as dosage and use of xylitol – the research has shown it is essential to have at least 5 grams a day – less will not work. The “dilution” is not important but it is better to have xylitol AFTER meals (since this is the time that plaque bacteria multiply). I am sure it would be better to swish and drink – rather than to chug it down!

Teeth need multiple exposures to xylitol each day – and dilution is not important – but frequency is.
The timeline is consistent – with xylitol exposure gradually getting rid of the plaque/cavity bacteria in your mouth. Once these bacteria have gone, this amount of xylitol will keep it from returning.

Without plaque, you will be protected from cavities and also gum irritation (gingivitis) and the initial stage of gum disease. Gum disease has been linked to many general health concerns, including heart attacks, pneumonia, arthritis, risk for stroke, diabetes etc. One little teaspoon a day can help protect you from this – xylitol is definitely a health sugar!!

Hope this helps – please keep in touch!

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