Xylitol—A Natural Defense against Tooth Decay
Want to indulge your taste buds with some holiday sweets without exposing your teeth to cavity-causing sugar? If you think that sounds like a good idea, here’s the scoop on how you can do it. The magic ingredient is Xylitol.
- Sugar, Acid, and Bacteria: If you remember the article we posted earlier this year showing the relationship of sugar, acid and teeth, then you know how the acid pH of saliva can cause cavities in our teeth.
- What is Xylitol, and how does it work? Xylitol is a naturally occurring alcohol found in the fibrous part of some plants and fruits. Xylitol tastes sweet, but, in the mouth, Xylitol, unlike sugar, is not converted to acids that cause tooth decay. The ingredient also reduces the amount of decay-causing bacteria in saliva and prevents acid attack, which can last for up to half an hour after each meal. Xylitol can be found in some toothpastes, mouthwashes, chewing gums, and mints. If you want to help neutralize your saliva’s acid pH, try having some chewing gum, mints, or candies that contain Xylitol after each meal.
Here, courtesy of Delta Dental, is a holiday recipe for cookies made with Xylitol.
Almond Cookies with Xylitol
2 cups coconut oil
1½ cups Xylitol
1 teaspoon maple extract
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoon almond extract
4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
A handful of whole almonds
Cream coconut oil and Xylitol together. Add eggs and beat well. Beat in extracts. Combine dry ingredients, and slowly add them to creamed mixture. Drop by tablespoonfuls two inches apart onto ungreased baking sheet. Press an almond into the center of each cookie. Bake at 350°F for 10-12 minutes. Cool on wire racks.
Now there’s a holiday recipe that will really brighten your smile!
Editing by Veronica McDavid, WordsOnTheWebNY@gmail.com