Xylitol and Children’s Dental Heath

Use xylitol products and take a look at switching chewing gums, mints, sweets, toothpaste and mouthwashes to Xylitol. Five exposures to xylitol each day will reduce plaque as effectively as brushing your teeth. Xylitol is a natural sugar alcohol and not an artificial sweetener. It looks and tastes like “table sugar,” but contains 40% fewer calories than sugar. Xylitol reduces the levels of mutans streptococci (MS) in plaque and saliva by disrupting bacterial energy production processes. It reduces the adhesion of these microorganisms to the teeth surface and also reduces their acid production. 

If your child already chews gum, simply switch to a 100% xylitol gum. Gum chewing may not be a polite thing to do in public, but it helps jaw development early in life, it also stimulates saliva secretion which cleans the teeth and gums. Optimal inhibition of S. mutans growth by xylitol occurs:-

  • With a total daily consumption of 5–6g
  • At a frequency of three or more times per day. It’s the frequency that matters, so get your child to use a xylitol product 5 times a day (chewing gum is the easiest, but remember that chewing gum in school is against the rules).

When you eat food containing ordinary sugar (sucrose), it feeds the bacteria on your teeth, allowing them to multiply and start making acids that can eat away the enamel on the teeth. This “acid attack” causes tooth decay and cavities to begin to form. The bacteria in the mouth that are causing cavities are unable to digest xylitol, so their growth is greatly reduced. The number of acid-producing bacteria may fall as much as 90%. No acid is formed because the pH of saliva and plaque does not fall.  Research has shown that the use of xylitol helps repair damage to the enamel. Xylitol also prevents bacteria from sticking to the teeth.

  • A 500g bag can be purchased from Bulk Powders (£7.49). It can be used as a sugar alternative and even be used in baking!
  • Xylitol chewing gum is widely available, but make sure it’s 100% xylitol (such as Peppersmith) and not full of other nasty artificial sweeteners.

SUGAR FREE PISTACIO FAIRY CAKE RECIPE (makes 24)

  1. Pre-heat the oven.
  2. Stand the fairy cake cases in the holes of the baking tray.
  3. Put the soft butter and xylitol into a mixing bowl and beat together until light and fluffy.
  4. Beat in the eggs one at a time, ensuring each is well incorporated before adding the next.
  5. Sieve the flour into the bowl then stir it into the mixture.
  6. Add the milk and vanilla and combine well.
  7. Fold in the pistachio pieces.
  8. Divide the mixture between the prepared fairy cake cases (2/3rds full)
  9. Bake for 18-20 minutes, until the sponge springs back when touched.
  10. Cool the cakes on a wire rack.
  • 150g butter
  • 150g xylitol
  • 3 eggs
  • 150g Self-raising white flour
  • 5 tbsp milk
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ cup of roughly chopped pistachio nuts


Disclaimer: The contents of this post is provided purely for education. We would encourage you to look at the references and investigate further. No individuals, including those under active care, should use the information in this post to self-diagnose or self-treat any health-related conditions. Content is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended as medical/dental advice or as a substitute for the medical advice of a Doctor or Dentist. You should always consult with a doctor or other health care professional for medical advice or information about diagnosis and treatment. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it.

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