Xylitol is an ingredient that is known to inhibit the growth of bacteria that cause cavities. Fluoride is an ingredient that prevents tooth decay by remineralizing and strengthening tooth enamel, making it more resistant to cavity-causing acids. It sounds like they both help reduce your chance of cavities.
The big question is which one is better?
Fluoride is better. Fluoride is something you should be using every day when you’re brushing your teeth. Whereas xylitol is something that can be used as an added benefit. But xylitol by no means replaces fluoride. The reason like we said at the beginning is that fluoride actually strengthens weak teeth to make them more resistant to acids. It stops cavities from forming whereas xylitol only helps repel plaque and bacteria. It doesn’t remineralize enamel that has already been coated with buildup so it can’t prevent cavities in the same way that fluoride does. It only helps reduce your chance of cavity-causing bacteria in your mouth. So if you were looking to replace your fluoride toothpaste with xylitol toothpaste, it is not recommended.
If you are someone who really wants to stop using fluoride then you should consider hydroxyapatite. Hydroxyapatite may be just as good as fluoride and prevent cavities. There still isn’t as much scientific research available about hydroxyapatite. But it looks super promising and it’s definitely better than xylitol to replace fluoride.
Although xylitol shouldn’t replace fluoride it does have a lot of cool benefits, there are a lot of cool ways you can add it into your lifestyle to optimize your dental health. Not only can you find it in mouthwashes and oral sprays, but it’s also a great sugar substitute. Most sugar substitutes are not considered good for your teeth. They are just considered not as bad for your teeth as regular sugar except for xylitol.
Xylitol is actually really good for your teeth.
For example, you can use it in your morning coffee in place of sugar. Sugar gives you cavities but xylitol actually helps reduce cavities. It’s definitely an amazing sugar replacement. However, there is a daily limit intake. Use xylitol in place of sugar not only in coffee and stuff like that. But especially when it comes to things like chewing gum and mints, simply chewing on a piece of xylitol gum, sucking on a xylitol breath mint, or even eating xylitol candy is actually considered extremely beneficial to your dental health.
So buy chewing gum and make sure there’s xylitol in it instead of sugar. You don’t need to go out and find a mouthwash or a toothpaste with xylitol in it. Just make sure your toothpaste has fluoride in it and your chewing gum or your breath mitts have xylitol in them.
Unfortunately, sometimes fluoride has a bad reputation. It’s not bad for you if you use it as directed. Don’t eat a tube of toothpaste, only brush your teeth with it as the instructions say. You get an upset stomach if you eat toothpaste, but the same thing would happen if you eat too much xylitol.
So the point is overdoing anything is not good for you.