Xylitol is a naturally occuring sugar substitute. Xylitol differs in structure than other sugar substitutes in which it does not allow for the bacteria in the mouth to break it down.
Xylitol inhibits the growth of bacteria that causes cavities. This happens because the bacteria cannot breakdown the xylitol. By using xylitol overtime, the bacteria in the mouth changes, fewer and fewer of them are decay causing organisms. Also, less plaque forms on the tooth surface and the acid attacking the tooth is lowered.
In order for xylitol to be effective,one needs to take -in 5-6 grams a day. Depending on the product, this could be 2 “chiclets” of gum 3 t0 5 times a day.The gum should be chewed for 5 minutes and the mints should be allowed to dissolve in the mouth rather than chewed.
It is best to use the xylitol gum or mints after each acid exposure. This typically means after each meal or snack.