Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Tuesday's Tip

Today's tip: xylitol

Chances are, if you brush your teeth, you use fluoride. I don't. Neither does my daughter whose molars came in without enamel. We're wild. We're reckless. We buck the system. We use xylitol.

First, the reasons we don't use fluoride:
  • fluoride is a poison
  • fluoride is a cumulative poison that accumulates in the bones over the years
  • excessive accumulation of fluoride can cause weakening of the bones
  • fluoride can be either accidentally swallowed while brushing or absorbed in the mouth. Remember that to quickly absorb some vitamins or medications that they are given sublingually (under the tongue) because of the high number of blood vessels.
But what is xylitol? If you have ever chewed sugar-free gum, you probably got a little xylitol. It is a naturally occurring sweetener found in berries, fruits, and other plant sources. Chemically, it is a sugar alcohol.

What is unique about this sweetener is that it is actually good for your teeth. I know that doesn't compute in your brain - a sweetener that is good for your teeth. But it actually reduces the incidences of tooth decay.

Xylitol reverses the destructive effects of sugar. It is non-fermentable. That means that your oral bacteria will not convert it to acids. It also helps restore the proper alkaline/acid balance in your mouth making it inhospitable to destructive bacteria. It's all good.

We use both a xylitol toothpaste and crystalline powder. I use the powder in her milk. We have had great success with it. We didn't start using it until we discovered the self-destructive nature of her mouth. Each appointment we have with the dentist reaffirms my confidence in the xylitol. We have her mouth under control and have stopped the downward spiral.

You can find xylitol products at the Vitamin Shoppe, Whole Foods, and many on-line resources. Along with toothpaste and powder, you can find gum, mouth rinse, and mints.


tipper said...

My girls use xylitol to brush their teeth! My Mother in law got them to try it and they liked it. I'm still addicted to the fluoride. I think it just that it feels right-cause that is what I've always used. Maybe your post will give me the boost to change for good.

Anna said...

I am going to have to research this more. My daughter didn't have enamel on one of her teeth either. I was FLOORED! My teeth are perfect... still. Not one cavity and my visits take so little time because I don't get much build up. My daughter's teeth though... man. The yellow stuff clings... clings! It makes me want to cry and I worry about what her smile will look like in 10 years. She has a big wide smile and what will it look like. Drat. I will check this out.