There is a way to prevent tooth decay with sugar. But first, let’s talk about how decay forms. We all know our mouths harbor millions of bacteria. But, there is one type in particular that cause’s tooth decay. This is Streptococcus mutans, or Strep mutans for short.
This bacteria feeds on the sugars we eat. It metabolizes these sugars and then forms acids that start eroding the tooth surface and causing tooth decay. There is however, one particular sugar that Strep mutans can’t metabolize well at all. That sugar is called Xylitol.
Xylitol is actually a sugar alcohol. It’s found in some toothpastes, mints, and gums. Xylitol has a very effective anti-bacterial effect. You see, the Strep mutans bacteria can’t metabolize Xylitol very well. Therefore, it can’t reproduce effectively; it can’t produce decay-forming acid and it can’t form that sticky layer that helps it attach to tooth surfaces. What does this mean for you? It means when you eat more xylitol you get less tooth decay.
Consider this a homeopathic remedy. It’s not a drug. You can’t overdose on it (not unless you tried really, hard). The more often you use Xylitol, the more effective it is. This means using xylitol gums, mints and toothpastes 4 to 5 times a day. The longer the xylitol is in contact with your teeth the more effective it is. Because this actually helps decrease the cavity- causing bacteria, this could likely be more effective than fluoride in preventing tooth decay.