Monthly Archives: March 2014

What is the Scoop on Xylitol?

Xylitol has been appearing more regularly in foods and candies and it claims it helps reduce cavities. What is it and is this true?

First, Xylitol is a sugar alcohol sweetener that is found in birch tree bark, beets,corncobs, raspberries, mushrooms, and other natural sources. Its sweetness is equal to that of sugar, but it has about 40 percent fewer calories, making it a popular sugarfree substitute. Xylitol not only cuts calories, it also cuts cavities!

How does xylitol prevent cavities?

Evanston Dentist xylitol

According to the Academy of General Dentistry, xylitol helps prevent Streptococcus mutans, the primary bacterium associated with dental caries, from attaching to teeth and tissues in the mouth. Xylitol cannot be metabolized by bacteria; as a result, the process that creates harmful, enamel-eating acids is drastically slowed. Regular use of xylitol has been shown to help reduce dental plaque—the first stage of cavity development, tartar formation, and tooth staining—and promote better oral health.

How often must I use xylitol for it to be effective?
Xylitol is a natural and convenient way to supplement daily dental care. Xylitol gum or mints used three to five times daily (for a total intake of 5 grams) is considered optimal. Because frequency and duration of exposure is important, gum should be chewed for approximately five minutes and mints should be allowed to dissolve. Dentists recommend using xylitol immediately after meals and snacks to help reduce plaque, inhibit adhesion of bacteria to the teeth, and reduce contact time of sugar on teeth.

Has xylitol been evaluated for safety?
Yes. Human consumption of xylitol has been confirmed for safety by a number of agencies, including the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the World Health Organization’s Joint Expert Committee on Food Additives, and the EuropeanUnion’s Scientific Committee on Food. Pet owners should note, however, that xylitol is harmful to dogs. To prevent xylitol poisoning, dog owners should be aware of products that contain xylitol as a sweetener, and keep those products out of the reach of their dogs.

Evanston Dentist xylitol

What products contain xylitol and how do I find them?

Products containing xylitol have been available in the United States for a number of years. Only recently has its use become mainstream. Today, xylitol can be readily found in chewing gums, toothpastes, mouthwashes and other oral care products, candies, and some pharmaceuticals. On food labels, xylitol is classified broadly as a carbohydrate and more narrowly as a polyol.  Products containing xylito

l have been available in the United States for a number of years. Only recently has its use become mainstream. Today, xylitol can be readily found in chewing gums, toothpastes, mouthwashes and other oral care products, candies, and some pharmaceuticals. On food labels, xylitol is classified broadly as a carbohydrate and more narrowly as a polyol.

Add a Dental Visit to This Year’s Spring-Cleaning List.

Evanston Dentist CleaningA professional dental cleaning at least twice a year can improve your oral health, reports the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD), an organization of general dentists dedicated to continuing dental education.

A prophylaxis, also known as a ‘prophy’ or professional dental cleaning, is an important part of your at-home oral health regimen.   It is designed to preserve the health of your teeth and gums, prevent the spread of disease and give the dentist an opportunity diagnose areas in the mouth that may need attention.”

According to the AGD it is strongly recommended that a dentist or hygienist perform a dental cleaning every three to six months. People who have healthy teeth and gums typically do not experience soreness after a cleaning.  Those with less-than-perfect oral hygiene habits may experience discomfort or heightened sensitivity during a dental cleaning. The dentist can use a topical anesthetic before the cleaning to alleviate pain.  It may also be beneficial for you to schedule more frequent hygiene appointments (every 3-4 months) until you are able to perfect your oral hygiene skills.

 

We Are Excited to Welcome Dede as our Newest Hygienist!

Evanston Dentist Dede HygienistYou may recognize Dede. She has been filling in at our office for the last 10 years. We hare thrilled to have her as our hygienist on Tuesdays!

Dede has been taking care of patients for almost 25 years. She has a passion for oral health and strives to make each visit comfortable and relaxing. She loves everything about dentistry, but most of all she loves the one-on-one care she is able to give to her patients. She strongly believes in educating her patients to help them improve their oral health as well as their overall health.

Dede was born and raised on the North Shore and has known Dr. Marinic since they were in high school! She is very active and enjoys spending time with family and friends. In her spare time she likes to read, exercise, and walk their dog.

Dede is excited to share her passion for dentistry with Dr. Marinic and his team.