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Xylitol and the Holidays

The holiday season is right around the corner, and that means a flood of holiday treats over the next few months. Some of those treats will come in the form of pre-packaged candies, but a fair amount will come in the form of baked goods, like cakes or pies.

Sugar, as we all know, isn’t the best friend to our teeth, but who wants to miss out on everything the season has to offer? Thankfully, you don’t have to give up on that slice of pumpkin or pecan pie. When you bake seasonal goodies with xylitol, a natural sweetener derived from plant fibers, what you end up with is a treat that’s better for your oral health and better for your smile, but still tastes great. According to xylitol.org, converting recipes from sugar to this natural sweetener is easy—you simply use a ratio of 1:1.

Why is xylitol better for you? Because it doesn’t react the same way as sugar does when it comes into contact with the bacteria in your mouth. Sugar reacts by creating acid, which destroys the protective outer layer of enamel on teeth. Xylitol, on the other hand, doesn’t lead to the creation of acid—it creates a neutral environment instead. Within this environment, bacteria have a difficult time clinging to teeth, preventing problems down the road. That’s why xylitol is sometimes used in certain brands of toothpaste.

Do you have questions about xylitol and how it can benefit y our smile? Call Bethesda Sedation Dentistry today to reserve an appointment with Dr. Klotz or Dr. Schlossberg. During your appointment, we can answer any questions you might have about how sugar affects oral health, and what you can do to prevent problems.

We serve patients from Bethesda, Chevy Chase, Rockville, Potomac, and Washington D.C.