Dental health affects various aspects of our lives, but it is often taken for granted. Your mouth is an indicator of the overall health of your entire body. It can show signs of general infection and nutritional deficiencies. Furthermore, our dental health affects our social life or the way we interact with other people. Having a healthy smile will significantly boost your confidence.
Along with seeing your dentist on a regular basis, you need to take care of your oral hygiene yourself. This includes a healthy diet, brushing your teeth regularly, using dental floss, and mouth rinse. Tooth decay is one of the most common problems that occurs from excessive consumption of sugar. When we eat food that contains regular sugar, we also feed the bacteria in our mouth and supply them with the energy they need to multiply and produce acids that eat away the protective layer of our teeth called the enamel.
In recent years, a natural sweetener derived from fibrous parts of plants is growing in popularity as one of the most efficient ways to fight tooth decay. It’s called xylitol and most often it is used in the form of xylitol mouth rinse. It may sound weird to use a sweetener to prevent tooth decay since it is well known that sugar is what causes it in the first place, but xylitol does not act like regular sugar and can help keep a neutral pH level in your mouth and also prevents bacteria from sticking to your teeth.
Because the bacteria in your mouth that cause cavities are not able to digest xylitol, with the regular use of xylitol mouth rinse, their growth is slowed down and their numbers greatly reduced. The number of these acid-producing bacteria may drop up to a staggering 90 percent. Since the pH level of plaque and saliva does not fall, no acid is formed. Also, after using xylitol rinse, the bacteria in your mouth can’t stick well on the surface of the teeth which results in a decrease in the amount of plaque.
What’s really amazing about xylitol mouth rinse, is not just the ability to prevent tooth decay, but it can also repair damaged enamel. Usually saliva does the job of repairing the damaged enamel, but with the excessive intake of sugar our own defense system can’t keep up. However, saliva that contains xylitol is more alkaline than saliva stimulated by regular sugar and when the pH level in saliva is above 7, phosphate and calcium salts start to fill in the parts of enamel that are weak.
Xylitol’s dental benefits are very hard to dismiss or take lightly. Today you can find it in many forms beside mouth rinse such as chewing gums, toothpaste, floss, mints, as a sweetener, and so on.