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Benefits of Xylitol on Pediatric Dental Health

Xylitol packs a powerful punch in the fight against tooth decay. Fluoride and xylitol team up to initiate repair of weak or damaged enamel. Dr. Cima Mazar-Atabaki is a Board Certified Pediatric Dentist who is well-versed in the positive long-term impact xylitol has on pediatric oral health. She is a brilliant Aliso Viejo Pediatric Dentist who believes in empowering her patients through education and quality care.

What is Xylitol?

It is a natural sugar found in some fruits, berries, vegetables, and birch trees. Technically, it is a five-carbon sugar with a very low glycemic index. As such, it is often used as an alternative sweetener by diabetics. Historically speaking, Native Americans used birch as a tooth cleanser and even made rattles from birch to help protect their children’s teeth from damage. When there was a sugar shortage in Europe during WWII, xylitol was used in its place. After a formal study in Finland in 1970 confirmed the safety and efficacy of xylitol, it was approved by both the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry and the FDA. Since then, multiple studies have shown xylitol to prevent and reverse tooth decay.

How Does it Work?

Xylitol presents a double whammy for naturally occurring bad bacteria that resides in the mouth. Sugars on teeth are consumed by this bacteria and the acids that cause decay are left behind. What if the bacteria is unable to digest the sweetener? No acid by-products are produced and bacteria numbers diminish. The surviving bacteria are rendered incapable of sticking to teeth.

Not only does xylitol basically starve the bacteria in the mouth, it also helps repair areas where the enamel has already been damaged. Saliva production increases when chewing gum or consuming candy containing xylitol and helps wash away the dying bacteria. This leaves room for minerals like calcium and phosphate salts to work their way into weakened or damaged areas to begin repair.

How Early Can I Start Using Xylitol On My Children’s Teeth?

To cut down on the potential for tooth decay, chewing xylitol gum during pregnancy and infancy produces incredible results. By the time the children of xylitol gum-chewers are five years old, they are 70% less likely to end up with rotten teeth. The mother is also less likely to unintentionally transfer bacteria to her child’s mouth, therefore protecting the natural balance of good and bad bacteria. As children learn to brush on their own, they should use a toothpaste that contains both xylitol and fluoride to cut down even further on cavities.

Visit OC Kids Dental in Aliso Viejo, CA to learn more about the positive effects of xylitol on dental health. Dr. Cima and her team look forward to helping patients keep their teeth healthy for many years to come.

While holidays are certainly a time of celebration and sugary food may be a big part of it, they are also a fertile breeding ground for bacteria and plaque that can cause cavities. Today, ingredients in the water supply and toothpaste help to prevent cavities. One of these essential ingredients is called fluoride.

How does Fluoride Prevent Cavities?

First, it is important to explain how cavities form. When children eat sugar, much of that sugar is left behind. Bacteria use sugar for growth and energy production. Once bacteria metabolizes sugar, they release acid that can damage the teeth. This process is called demineralization. The more bacteria there are, or the more sugar that is in the mouth, the more acid is produced and the more damage that is done to teeth. Maintaining a healthy diet that is high in calcium will help keep the enamel strong to resist the acid demineralization process that bacteria can cause.

Maintain a Healthy Diet

In addition to maintaining a healthy diet, drinking water and using toothpaste that contains fluoride is another effective way to prevent cavities. Many years ago, the FDA decided to add fluoride to the water as a way to prevent cavities from forming in people’s mouths. The body can use fluoride as a component in the enamel. Once fluoride is incorporated as a part of the teeth, they form a strong structure on the surface that helps to resist the acid demineralization process that bacteria generate. Fluoride does a better job of resisting the acid that bacteria produces than the native components that make up the enamel. Therefore, water and toothpaste with fluoride is an essential part of preventing cavities.

Fluoride Accelerates the Healing Process

Finally, Fluoride can actually help accelerate the healing process when cavities are formed. Because fluoride can bond as a part of the enamel structure, fluoride can actually help regrow parts of the teeth that are damaged by cavities. Studies have shown that fluoride actually accelerates the rate of enamel production. If enamel grows quicker, the body can fill the cavities faster and restore the mouth to its normal, healthy state in a shorter time span. Therefore, fluoride is also essential to healing teeth that have been damaged by cavities.

When it comes to preventing cavities, there are certain parts of the mouth that brushing and flossing simply can’t reach. Therefore, seeing a dentist regularly every six months is an important part of routine dental care and maintaining a healthy mouth. For parents looking for an Aliso Viejo pediatric dentist for their children, consider contacting OC Kids Dental and Dr. Cima Mazar-Atabaki in Aliso Viejo, CA. Dr. Cima is a board certified pediatric dentist with an impressive track record of maintaining healthy mouths for many children. Contact Dr. Cima today to schedule an appointment.

While most people know that brushing and flossing on a regular basis keeps teeth healthy, what people put in their mouth also influences oral healthy. A healthy diet is essential for healthy teeth and a healthy body.

Minimize Sugar Intake

First of all, food can be packed with sugar. First, bacteria use sugar to grow and survive. By feeding bacteria sugar, the bacterial population in the mouth will multiply. These bacteria can form on the services of teeth and cause cavities. If cavities aren’t caught early, this infection can spread to the root and gums, potentially leading to gingivitis and other periodontal infections. To avoid cavities and other chronic dental conditions, limit the amount of sugar and candy that is taken in.

Incorporate a Healthy Diet

On the other hand, a healthy diet promises to result in healthy teeth. Diets that are high in calcium are essential for building an enamel. Enamel makes up the surface of teeth and is one of the strongest substances on earth. While this enamel is strong, it requires a large amount of calcium to stay this way. To keep the enamel strong, try to take in dairy products such as milk and yogurt. Dairy products are high in calcium and will ensure the enamel stay strong for years. Strong enamel is more resistant to bacteria that can cause cavities.

Keep the Immune System Strong

Finally, a healthy diet encourages a strong immune system. Diets that are filled with fruits and vegetables contain vitamin C and iron. If these elements are essential for the growth of the immune system, such as the white blood cells that fight infection. With a strong immune system, the body is better equipped to fight off bacterial infections that can degrade teeth and gums. When the immune system is functioning at a high-level, bacteria do not have a chance to cause cavities because the immune system kills the bacteria as quickly as they can grow. For healthy teeth, keep the immune system strong by eating foods such as fruits and vegetables that are high in vitamin C and iron.

For parents looking for an Aliso Viejo pediatric dentist, consider contact OC Kids Dental and Dr. Cima Mazar-Atabaki in Aliso Viejo, CA. Dr. Cima is a board certified pediatric dentist with a substantial amount of experience caring for children. Dr. Cima knows that visits to the dentist can be an anxious experience for children. Therefore, Dr. Cima takes every measure to make sure kids are as comfortable as possible during their visit. Contact OC Kids Dental today to schedule an appointment!