Over the years, there have been many advancements in sugar substitutes. One of the most talked-about in recent years is Xylitol. You’ve likely seen this sugar substitute appear in chewing gum, breath mints, and even sugar-free candies and baked goods.
While it has become widely accepted as an excellent alternative for sweeteners, is it good for your teeth? Is it safe? And in this article, we’ll dig into what Xylitol is, if it’s good for your teeth, and some of the top toothpaste on the market containing Xylitol.
What is Xylitol?
Xylitol is a sugar alcohol. This is different from regular table sugar. Though it is not a sugar or alcohol, it’s classified as a carbohydrate. It is also a chemical that is found naturally in many fruits and vegetables. You may find them in berries, corn, mushrooms, plums, and lettuce. Some Xylitol has also been found in trees, such as birch and hardwood.
As mentioned above, you’ll see Xylitol in a variety of edible items. These include sugar-free candies, baked goods, chewing gum, breath mints, and many more. Its chemical makeup stimulates the taste receptors to produce the sweetness sensation.
The reason more and more companies are choosing to ditch regular sugar in favor of Xylitol is the lessened calories. Xylitol has a third of the calories that regular sugar contains. This is an excellent method to reduce overall calories in products providing customers with an excellent alternative that won’t contribute to excessive weight gain.
Companies started adding this natural sweetener to foods and oral health care products, including toothpaste in the 1960s. Its consistency is similar to that of table sugar and offers many advantages that regular sugar does not have. With a level of sweetness nearly that of regular sugar and only 2.4 calories per gram, compared to sugars for 4.0 g, it’s easy to see why this is a popular choice for products.
One of the most significant upsides is that Xylitol is perfect for those with diabetes or on low-carb diets. It has a lower glycemic index, which doesn’t affect blood sugar levels near as bad as traditional table sugar.
Is it safe?
So, Xylitol offers excellent advantages over regular sugar. But is it safe to consume? Most evidence suggests that Xylitol is completely safe for human consumption and use in products such as toothpaste.
Benefits of Xylitol in toothpaste
There are tons of reasons why Xylitol is the perfect companion for toothpaste. One of the most significant is that instead of contributing to the decline of a person’s oral health, it can actually benefit it.
In fact, it offers a great oral health benefit by boosting the production of saliva. This is an excellent benefit because saliva will prevent bacteria from sticking to teeth. Bacteria contribute to tooth decay and gingivitis; by eliminating the bacteria, a person can enjoy a healthier smile. Many dentists may recommend that patients chew gum enhanced with Xylitol only for tooth decay prevention. Primarily the Xylitol works by starving the bacteria since the harmful bacteria in your mouth can’t process it.
How to find a good toothpaste with Xylitol?
When shopping for a toothpaste, looking at the ingredient list may have been an afterthought. The next time you’re doing your toothpaste shopping, take a minute to look at the ingredients, both active and inactive. There are some active ingredients like fluoride that your teeth need.
As part of the demineralization that happens with your teeth, the fluoride replaces these to help strengthen. Xylitol will be used as a flavor enhancement and is often considered an inactive ingredient.
Toothpaste may have a few inactive ingredients. To figure out which product has more of the beneficial Xylitol, you’ll want to compare. The higher on the list Xylitol is, typically, the more the toothpaste will contain.
Top 6 Toothpastes with Xylitol
The world of toothpaste buying can be overwhelming. A glance at the selection at your local store is enough to make anyone question if they have been buying the wrong brand and type all these years. We’ve put together a list of the best toothpaste on the market that contains the oral health-enhancing Xylitol.
Squigle Enamel Saver Toothpaste
This enamel saving toothpaste is perfect for anyone with sensitive teeth. It’s considered the best product overall and contains the highest Xylitol percentage, 36%. This toothpaste also contains fluoride, which is beneficial for everyone’s oral health in addition to routine visits to their dentist for preventative services, including cleanings. About the only downside is the cost.
Spry Whitening Xylitol Toothpaste
Containing a high concentration of Xylitol, this is a perfect choice for anyone looking for the health benefits of Xylitol mixed with the whitening powder of all-natural ingredients.
Epic Dental Xylitol Toothpaste with Fluoride
This all-in-one toothpaste option is perfect for those that want Xylitol for its oral health benefits as well as fluoride to help strengthen teeth. This toothpaste can be used for teens and adults.
Spry Kid’s Xylitol Tooth Gel
Perfect for kids, Spry created a toothpaste that contains all-natural ingredients, is safe enough to swallow, and fluoride-free. This toothpaste is also available in a variety of mild flavors.
One of the biggest downsides is that it lacks fluoride. This can be an issue for some, and for others, not so much. But it is recommended that children receive some amount of fluoride each day.
Spry Xylitol Toothpaste Fluoride-Free
Another fluoride-free toothpaste, Spry Xylitol Toothpaste comes in a cooling spearmint flavor and is high in Xylitol content. This product also contains aloe. That can soothe irritated gums while moisturizing the mouth. This toothpaste also doesn’t contain GMOs.
While it does have an okay flavor, the recipe has changed over the years. Some have commented that they are not as thrilled with the changes. It is also more expensive, and the tube size is rather small.
Now XyliWhite Platinum Mint Toothpaste Gel
Containing a whopping 25% Xylitol, this is an excellent choice for those that would like to have everything all in one tube. Now XyliWhite Platinum Mint Toothpaste Gel Is safe for adults and children, has a great taste, contains whitening power, and much more. About the only downside, for some, is this is a fluoride-free product.
Since it was introduced back in 1960, Xylitol has been put in many food products and toothpaste. It is known to be completely safe and offers great oral health benefits, including preventing bacteria growth and tooth decay. When shopping for a new tube of toothpaste, compare ingredient lists, making sure it contains both fluoride and Xylitol. These two powerhouse ingredients are excellent for promoting healthy smiles.
Healthy teeth start with preventive care. Contact Image Dental today to schedule your cleaning and exam. You may request an appointment online by clicking here or by giving us a call at (209) 955-1500 during regular business hours.