The Benefits of Xylitol

Xylitol is a natural sweeter found in many fruits and vegetables.  What makes Xylitol different from other plant-based sugar substitutes (such as Stevia) is that it actually promotes oral health.  According to a 2011 study undertaken by the EFSA Panel on Dietetic Products, Nutrition and Allergies, there is sufficient scientific evidence to support the claim that Xylitol neutralises plaque acidity on teeth and repairs tooth enamel.

These days it’s common knowledge that eating sugary foods is bad for your teeth (and your health in general).  Ironically, the problem isn’t the sweetness itself, it’s that sugary foods actually create acidity in the mouth.  In particular, they lower the pH level of saliva, which is usually what protects our teeth from bacteria.  Using products which contain Xylitol helps to raise the pH level of saliva and hence protects against bacteria.  The fuzzy brush is particularly effective as, not only does it contain Xylitol, but the nature of the product is such that it encourages chewing and this, in turn, stimulates the production of saliva (at a healthy pH level) which coats teeth and helps protect tooth enamel.

In fact, Xylitol can literally kill the form of bacteria which is mainly responsible for causing plaque (Streptococcus mutans).  Basically Streptococcus mutans ingests Xylitol but is unable to process it as food and, furthermore, is unable to process any other food (such as glucose) while it is full of Xylitol.  This means that ultimately these harmful bacteria simply starve to death.   Xylitol is completely harmless to the “good” bacteria in the mouth, which help to promote oral hygiene.

Continuous use of Xylitol creates a desirable environment for healthy mouth bacteria and an undesirable environment for unhealthy plaque bacteria. After 5 weeks of eating at least 6 grams of Xylitol each day, sticky plaque bacteria will no longer be found on teeth.

After 6 months of continuous Xylitol use, these bacteria will be undetectable in saliva, on teeth and on the tongue. You can get started today with Fuzzy Brush.

How does Xylitol work?

A bacteria cell has an outer layer called cytoplasm. This portion of the cell surrounds a spaghetti pile of DNA called a nucleoid.

When products containing sugar or carbohydrates are consumed, sugar will dissolve in saliva and be absorbed by bacteria in plaque on teeth. The sugar is absorbed into the cytoplasm layer and then is transported to “feed” the cell with energy to reproduce and multiply.

Xylitol is readily absorbed by plaque bacteria, where it travels into the cell cytoplasm. The difference is that the cell lacks the mechanism to provide energy for the cell to multiply and reproduce. Furthermore the cell tries to expel the Xylitol, and expends energy trying to push the Xylitol away and out of the cell.

Because the bacteria cell uses its energy to expel the Xylitol, it is less able to stick to teeth and is therefore more easily removed by tooth cleaning. Xylitol has also interfered with acid production by the cell and prevented reproduction. This process of using energy to no purpose is called a futile cycle.

Toxic, cavity forming plaque bacteria die each time they are in contact with Xylitol. As harmful bacteria are cleaned away, new Xylitol-resistant bacteria take their place. These new bacteria do not produce acids, do not damage teeth and do not form sticky layers of plaque.

These bacteria appear to form a protective coating over teeth – fighting off intruding bacteria and protecting enamel from things that may harm teeth.

Xylitol is a sweet, white substance that looks and tastes like sugar, but has 40% fewer calories than sucrose and is diabetic friendly. Xylitol is organic and all natural — found in the fibres of fruits and vegetables like corn, berries and mushrooms, and the wood of trees like the birch. It is even produced naturally in small amounts by our bodies. This amazing sweetener that has the power to protect our teeth is the main ingredient in Fuzzy Brush.

What does Xylitol do?

Xylitol not only rids the mouth of sticky harmful bacteria, it actually promotes the growth of tooth-protective, non-acidic bacteria. Plaque bacteria use sucrose and carbohydrates from our diet to grow and multiply. They create sticky threads that allow them to attach to the tooth surface and each other to form thick layers and acids that damage teeth.

When plaque bacteria absorb Xylitol, they cannot multiply, produce acids, or stick to teeth. Eating products like Fuzzy Brush mints means less plaque will form on teeth, and eventually plaque bacteria may be undetectable in the mouth. Xylitol also raises mouth pH and encourages mineral-rich saliva to flow into the mouth. This can protect and remineralise teeth by repairing the deep layers of enamel.