The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) recognizes the benefits of xylitol on the oral health of infants, children, adolescents, and persons with special health care needs. The use of xylitol gum by mothers (4 times per day) starting three months after delivery and until the child is 2 years old, has proven to reduce cavities up to 70% by the time the child is 5 years old. Studies using xylitol as either a sugar substitute or a small dietary addition have demonstrated a dramatic reduction in new tooth decay, along with some reversal of existing dental caries. Xylitol provides additional protection that enhances all existing prevention methods. This xylitol effect is long-lasting and possibly permanent. Low decay rates persisted over years after the trials were completed. Xylitol is widely distributed throughout nature in small amounts. Some of the best sources are fruits, berries, mushrooms, lettuce, hardwoods, and corn cobs. One cup of raspberries contains less than one gram of xylitol.
Studies suggest xylitol intake that consistently produces positive results ranged from 4-20 grams per day, divided into 3-7 consumption periods. Higher results did not result in greater reduction and may lead to diminishing results. Similarly, consumption frequency of less than three times per day showed no effect. To find gum or other products containing xylitol, try visiting your local health food store or search the internet to find products containing 100% xylitol.