Health & Safety

May 4, 2012

Dental benefits for use of natural sweetener

by Senior Airman Ana King
56th Dental Squadron

We have all been through them – those annual dental check-ups. While waiting for your name to be called you try to do a brief recollection of your oral hygiene routine. It may go a little something like this: brushed teeth, check; flossed this morning, check.

But did you know that oral hygiene is not all about brushing and flossing? Although those are key points to healthy teeth, our diet also plays a huge role.

One of the largest elements of our diet is sugar intake. Regulating sugar intake is important for general health and largely that of teeth. But for many, sugar is a normal part of the diet, and folks may not realize the negative side effects.

However, there is a healthy alternative to sugar called Xylitol. Not only does it look and taste the same, it also helps in reducing the risks for cavities. It is a carbohydrate that occurs naturally and can be found in fibrous fruits and vegetables as well as in the body. More importantly, Xylitol is a natural sweetener. At its purest state, Xylitol both looks and tastes like sugar. The benefit of using Xylitol as a sugar substitute is that it has been proven in the reduction of tooth decay.

The difference between ordinary sugar and Xylitol that makes this possible is found in one of the processes that assist in tooth decay. Tooth decay occurs when bacteria in the mouth consumes ordinary sugar, also known as sucrose. The sucrose fuels the bacteria on teeth causing germs to multiply and start acid attacks. If repeated, the introduction of sucrose to bacteria result in more frequent acid attacks against tooth enamel, lasting about 30 minutes if not longer. During these acid attacks the bacteria is constantly working toward penetrating the enamel. The ultimate outcome is decay and weakness. Since Xylitol does not break down like ordinary sugar, the bacteria cannot use it as a viable source of energy. The pathogens’ inability to use Xylitol makes bacteria incapable of multiplying and causing an acid attack. Fewer acid attacks on teeth means less chance of decay.

So why use Xylitol? It’s safe and requires less than 15 grams per day to prevent tooth decay. It tastes great so using it in a daily routine is not a chore, and it’s 100-percent natural. It also helps lower the risk of tooth decay without forfeiting the sweet sugary taste.

So how do you get Xylitol? It is found in many forms and can be a substitute for sugar. Xylitol can be found in toothpaste, nasal spray, chewing gum, mints, candy and as a 100-percent pure sweetener. So next time you are purchasing a favorite toothpaste or chewing gum check the list of ingredients. Does it include Xylitol?

As for purchasing products containing larger concentrations of Xylitol, such as sweeteners or sugar substitutes, it can be found online or talk to a dentist.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
James Hensley

No one flies until flight med gives OK

James Hensley Airman 1st Class Shawn Martinez, 56th Aerospace Medicine Squadron flight medicine technician, checks over the ambulance Aug. 19 with Staff Sgt. Jovanny Reyes, 56th AMDS medical technician, at Luke Air Force Base. ...
 
 
Airman 1st Class 
PEDRO MOTA

Motivated Airman dedicated to AF

Airman 1st ClassPEDRO MOTA Airman 1st Class Elizabeth Roman, 56th Communications Squadron cyber transport systems technician, shows off her Muhammad Ali T-shirt, which to her represents an expression of determination and how a ...
 
 
5-140821-F-LC301-009

Avoiding hazards, using right equipment good fall prevention

As summer comes to a close and the fall season looms, relief from heat is right around the corner, and working inside or outdoors is a welcomed idea. As the heat dies down and fall rolls in, the chores left abandoned during sum...
 

 

Street Beat

The 56th Security Forces Squadron handled the following incidents at Luke Air Force Base Aug. 18 through 24: Tickets: Security forces issued citations for nine moving violations and two nonmoving violations. Traffic-related incidents Aug. 18: Security forces responded to a major vehicle vs. fixed object accident near Bldg. 1124. An individual was transported to West...
 
 

Why do they call it wisdom?

Capt. David Raper, 56th Dental Squadron dentist, performs a wisdom tooth extraction Aug. 13 in the dental clinic at Luke Air Force Base. Wisdom teeth are removed for reasons including infection, decay and cysts. The 56th DS provides active-duty members comprehensive dental care while supporting the readiness of the 56th Fighter Wing to respond to...
 
 

Street Beat

The 56th Security Forces Squadron handled the following incidents Aug. 11 through 17: Tickets Security forces issues citations for 24 moving violations and two nonmoving violations. Traffic-related incidents Aug. 13: Security forces responded to a report of a motorcycle accident at the intersection of Litchfield Road and Lightning Street. The motorcycle rider was transported by...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin