South Florida Dentist Dr. Craig Spodak Recommends Artificial Sweetener Xylitol to Help Prevent Cavities

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By chewing gum with the artificial sweetener Xylitol, consumers can help to prevent cavities.

It may seem counterintuitive to parents

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Cavities are a persistent problem for children and adults, but aside from regular brushing, flossing and dental check-ups, a good way to prevent them, according to Delray Beach, Florida-based dentist Dr. Craig Spodak, is to use chewing gum with the sugar-substitute Xylitol.

"It may seem counterintuitive to parents," said Spodak, owner of Spodak Dental Group, "but using chewing gum with the artificial sweetener Xylitol can actually help to promote healthier teeth. Of course, consumers need to remember that the best way to prevent cavities and gum disease is to visit the dentist every six to 12 months and to undergo a yearly periodontal screening after the age of 40."

Recent studies have shown that the artificial sweetener Xylitol, a naturally occurring wood sugar that is found in the fibers of some fruits and vegetables, has been directly linked to the prevention of cavities. These studies show that the ingredient not only decreases tooth decay in children who have chewed gum with this ingredient, but it also reduces small lesions in gum tissue.

Spodak points out that the exact mechanism of action of Xylitol is unknown, but it appears to inhibit bacterial growth, including growth of Streptococcus mutans - the main bacteria implicated in dental decay. According to Spodak, this may cause Streptococcus mutans to lose a competitive edge in the oral ecosystem.

The proper protocol for cavity protection is to chew two pieces of Xylitol gum three to five times daily for at least five minutes per chewing session, according to Spodak.

ABOUT DR. CRAIG SPODAK
Dr. Craig Spodak is a Delray Beach, Florida dentist who owns the progressive Spodak Dental Group. Dr. Craig's practice utilizes an in-house ceramic dental lab, five stage hospital-styled sterilization center, digital X-rays, electronic patient records and the latest dental technologies. The Spodak Dental Group is currently developing one of the first LEED-certified dental offices in the country. Web site: http://www.spodakdental.com

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