Those concerned about both their overall health and oral health should take note of the benefits of the naturally occurring sugar substitute known as “xylitol.” First discovered in the late 19th century, and popularized as a safe sweetener for diabetics that would not impact insulin levels, xylitol was later found to have significant dental benefits as well. This substance, which is found in a variety of fruits and vegetables, is just about as sweet as sucrose (ordinary sugar) but has fewer calories and no aftertaste. More importantly, xylitol prevents decay-causing bacteria from sticking to teeth, thereby reducing plaque formation. Research also shows that xylitol helps repair damaged enamel by stimulating saliva production. Look for xylitol in sugarless gum.
P.S. If you can’t conveniently brush your teeth after a meal, rinse your mouth and pop in a piece of gum or mint containing xylitol.