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 pieces per day) before delivery and until a child reaches 2 years old, has shown to reduce cavities up to 70% by the time they are 5 years old. 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 ranged from 4-20 grams per day, divided into 3-7 consumption periods, produce positive preventative results. Higher consumption amounts did not result in greater reduction. Similarly, consumption frequency of less than 3 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. Please note that xylitol does not strengthen the enamel like fluoride does, but can alter the properties of the bacteria that cause tooth decay.