If youʼve been to our office, you probably have heard me tell you, “You donʼt have to floss all of your teeth, just the oneʼs you want to keep!” While this adage still holds, there are some new weapons available to help fight tooth decay and gum disease. The big news about these products is that they are available to you to buy on your own and donʼt need a prescription.
The first product is xylitol. It is an alcohol sugar and as such does not metabolize like regular sugar. Clinical studies have shown that it is safe for diabetics, has fewer calories, and it inhibits plaque formation on teeth so that it inhibits tooth decay. Many sugarless gums and candies are made with xylitol. Xylitol can also be bought in granulated form in health food stores and other outlets. While xylitol is not toxic, all alcohol sugars can have a laxative effect so you can “overdo” it.
The other product of interest is a whole new class of remineralizing toothpastes. In the coming months there will be a number of competitive products that will hit the market. While the science and technology concerning the development of these products does differ, they are all based on the notion of getting calcium phosphate back into tooth enamel. The exciting notion here is the process which starts tooth decay can, in the early stages, be reversed with the proper application of these pastes.
Sensodyneʼs Pro-Enamel was one of the first products to hit the market but it also has other ingredients which may not be suitable for all patients. Arm & Hammerʼs Enamel Care toothpaste and Trident Gum with Recaldent also have this new technology.
All of these products have great potential but also have limitations. Before purchasing these products donʼt hesitate to contact us and ask how, when, and in what quantity these products should be used for maximum effectiveness.