In the eighties, artificial sweeteners in blue and pink packets, diet soda and sugar-free gum set the standard as “healthy” alternatives to their sugar-laden parent products. Today, there’s another sweetener called xylitol touting sweet-as-sugar taste that is low in calories, and studies show it may help reduce and prevent cavities.
A natural sweetener found in plants and fruits, xylitol was approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1986 as a food additive and is now appearing in sugar-free gum, mints and toothpaste.
Research confirms that of all factors studied, xylitol most likely inhibits the growth of Streptococcus mutans, the oral bacteria that causes cavities, according to a study in the July/August 2002 issue of General Dentistry, the clinical, peer-reviewed publication of the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD).
Courtesy of AGD: Academy of General Dentistry