Can you settle a debate that we are having at home with regards the form that xylitol needs to be in for our daily doses.
At the moment, we are using granular xylitol dissolved in water as a regular dose. We also supplement this with some granular xylitol on a teaspoon after meals, snacks and drinks. Living in the UK we can’t get hold of Zellies, unless we order from the US (which looks like being expensive).
My feeling is that it doesn’t matter too much what form the xylitol is in, so long is we get the exposure. However, my wife feels that we need to be using xylitol sweets/gum instead of granular after meals.
Can you help clarify this for us.
I don’t want to take sides – so I’ll say that you are both correct!
To get rid of plaque and prevent cavities: ( the effects are equal – no matter how you use it)
Research shows that it does not matter the form that xylitol is in ( candies, gum etc).
In the most recent studies the only xylitol products that did not seem as effective as the mints and gum was xylitol in toothpastes and rinses. (This does not surprise me – since the toothpastes with xylitol are usually too abrasive, and mouth rinses with xylitol are often acidic).
Zellies mints are simply granular xylitol “pressed” into a mint shape – with a drop of flavor! You could dip a strawberry into the xylitol crystals and have virtually the same effect!
People think that chewing the gum makes a difference, but studies do not support this.
In Scandinavia they give gum to preschool kids, have them chew until the flavor is gone and then spit it out.
The effects of the xylitol are immediate and they come from “feeding” xylitol to the harmful germs in your mouth – which basically inactivates them. Cavity and other harmful germs multiply at the end of a meal – so this is why xylitol is so useful at the end of a meal. If you have gum disease – it seems that sipping xylitol in water is one of the very best ways to control this problem.
To strengthen or repair teeth – or make them whiter:( Zellies mints and gum may be best)
The other way xylitol works is to generate a flow of saliva into your mouth.This stimulated saliva contains minerals which go into teeth to harden and repair them, and make them whiter.
I think my mints appear to do this even better than xylitol alone – because the mints are sooooo delicious!
Xylitol generates a flow of saliva into the mouth ( it is part of the sequence that happens when you eat xylitol) but when something is delicious and you like it – this flow is often increased!
If you put xylitol into water you will not get this “mineralizing” effect to the same degree.
Also, eating granules off a spoon may, of course, not be as delicious as having one or two Zellies mints!
I hope this explain why you are both correct! I am coming to UK this spring for a vacation – maybe I can find a distributor there to help us get Zellies to you more easily!
Dr. Ellie Phillips DDS
Solutions for Oral Health
More information can be found on this topic and more at: www.drellie.com