February is National Children’s Dental Health month!! The American Dental Association (ADA) sponsors National Children’s Dental Health Month each February to raise awareness about the importance of oral health. Developing good habits at an early age and scheduling regular dental visits helps children get a good start on a lifetime of healthy teeth and gums.
Guess what? Cavities are on the rise in America. In fact, we are seeing more decay now than in any decade since the ‘70s. Why is this? Dr. Gilreath strongly believes it is due to these two factors. First, people are drinking much more bottled water than ever before. In most situations, this water doesn’t have Fluoride in it. So the benefits that you would get from the Fluoride in our public water supply are not realized. Second, many kids drinking lots of sports drinks. These products are full of sugar and this promotes tooth decay. And adults, who drink fruit juice and sodas also increase their risk of tooth decay, especially if they don’t drink tap water.
So if you or your family members are bottled water drinkers, you should consider chewing gum! Yes, that’s right… chewing gum. Gum with Xylitol. Xylitol is a sugar that has been used in products in Europe since the 1960s. However, it is only now beginning to catch on in America.
How does Xylitol decrease decay? Let’s look at how decay occurs in your teeth. Bacteria in your mouth metabolizes sugar (from things you eat and drink). When this occurs, an acid is formed. This acid literally eats into your teeth, causing decay. Xylitol cannot be used as food by bacteria and consequently, the bacteria don’t produce acid which prevents decay from starting. Also, the lower acid content on your mouth makes for an inhospitable environment for bacteria to live, so the number of decay producing bacteria decreases dramatically. And finally, Xylitol can actually be used to reverse the initial effects of Chewing four pieces a day is all you need to prevent decay.
At Gilreath Family Dentistry, we strive to help our patients with prevention. We carry Xylitol products including gum and mints. Help us help you prevent decay, consider getting some gum with Xylitol. It tastes and chews like regular gum! What could be easier? If you’d like to talk to Dr. Gilreath about the benefits of Xylitol or for any other reason, please call our office at (770) 796-7081.
Posted on behalf of Dr. Paul Gilreath IV,