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Thanks to our site contributor, Amy, for checking out several Xylitol products for us!
Xylitol..hummm. I have heard of it, but I do not know a lot about it. What is it and how does it work? Are there advantages of using it and is it safe? I am here to answer some of your questions.
Xylitol is a naturally occurring sugar substitute that research has shown can improve the health of your teeth and mouth. It has been clinically proven to be a natural enemy of bacteria. Where does Xylitol come from? It is referred to as wood or birth sugar because it typically was manufactured from birch trees. Today, it is mainly extracted from corncobs. Interesting….other natural sources of Xylitol include plums, strawberries, and raspberries. Pure Xylitol looks like sugar because of the white crystalline appearance. It even tastes like sugar but has 40% less calories than sugar. Plus, only one-third of the absorbed Xylitol gets metabolized by the body.
So. how does Xylitol work? Xylitol is not metabolized by mouth bacteria, and as a result, no acids are produced in the mouth that can cause tooth decay. The sweetness stimulates saliva flow, which neutralizes any acids that have been formed and rinse away excess sugar residue.
Are there any side effects of using Xylitol? Xylitol was approved by the FDA in 1963, and it has no known side effects for humans; up to 40 grams per day have been noted to have little more than a mild laxative effect.
So what products are available that use Xylitol? Xlear makes all things Xylitol and are the Xylitol experts.
The first products I tired was Kid’s Xlear Saline Nasal Spray. Just about since the day Amanda was born, her nose has been perpetually stuffed. Like many infants, Amanda also suffers from reflux. My doctor told me that babies with reflux often will have a stuffed nose as well and the best treatment is to use saline. It is the best way to helps to improve mucus flow and relieve nasal irritations without medication. So, in trying Kid’s Xlear Nasal Saline Spray, I noticed that it did help to soothes and moisturizes the nasal passage and sinuses while washing away dust, pollutants, and irritants. The bottle was easy to use on Amanda too. The easy to use squeeze bottle specifically designed for children and infants. It is safe for all ages and non-habit forming.
I also tried Spry Dental Defense System. This System combines Xylitol with other wonderful flavors to create a wide range of products, including gum, mints, and toothpaste.
I started off with the Spry chewing gum. The gum is available in Cinnamon, Spearmint, Peppermint, and fresh fruit flavors. This sugar free gum is sweetened with 100% Xylitol. I enjoyed each flavor more than the next, with the fresh fruit flavor being my favorite.
I moved onto the mints. These are also sugar free and made with 100% Xylitol. I enjoyed these mints very much. With flavors like Lemonburst, peppermint, and Berry Blast, there is something to choose from no matter what your mood is. I loved the fruit flavored ones, but prefer the peppermint to freshen my breath throughout the day.
Spry Xylitol Peppermint toothpaste comes in a tarter control formula and is fluoride and sugar free. This minty paste tasted great and left my teeth feeling like I “just came from the dentist clean”.
I think my favorite product was the Sparx Xylitol Candies, of course. This candy was a great way to satisfy my non-chocolate cravings. Sparx candies are small candy “dots” that are high in Xylitol and have natural fruit flavors and natural colors. I loved the sweetness of the candy and the cool, refreshing feeling it left in my mouth.
To ensure the effectiveness of Xylitol, you should “strive for 5”. That means you should try to get 5 exposures of Spry Xylitol per day using any combination of gum, mints, toothpaste, Sparx candy, etc. Finally, I can enjoy my candy while helping to reduce the risk of tooth decay!
Xylitol sent us a free sample of the products reviewed above in order to facilitate the review. All opinions are 100% our own.