It is not necessary to replace all sweeteners to get the dental benefits of xylitol. Look for xylitol sweetened products that encourage chewing or sucking to keep the xylitol in contact with your teeth. The best items are 100% xylitol. Next best are items where xylitol is the principal sweetener. Always make sure there are no acids in the products.
The older research with xylitol always specified an amount 6-10 grams as being the “sweet spot”. Newer research has actually shown better how to use xylitol, and that the quantity is not the most important, but the number of exposures throughout the day. We want to get at least 4-5 exposures of 100% xylitol spread throughout the day. When products that contain HSH, sorbitol, maltitol and other sweeteners are used their effectiveness is diminished and you will need to use much more product. Remember that we are trying to “starve” the bacteria, and providing all of those other sugars that feed the bacteria makes the job that much more difficult. So rather than thinking in terms of “how much” think in terms of “how often”.
If used only occasionally or even as often as once a day, xylitol may NOT be effective, regardless of the amount. Use xylitol at least three, and preferably 5 times every day. Remember the strive for 5 program listed on the right hand of every page on this website.
Use immediately upon waking up in the form of toothpaste and mouthwash. If you drink tea or coffee in the morning use xylitol to sweeten it. After breakfast us a candy or chewing gum with xylitol. After lunch use a few pieces of gum or candy, and then again after dinner. Before going to bed in the evening be sure to brush with xylitol toothpaste and use a xylitol mouthwash. There is a dental floss available with xylitol that helps get it in between the teeth.
Remember that throughout the day any time you would normally use chewing gum or eat candy make sure you are using xylitol sweetened products. There is an increased benefit up to 6-7 times a day.
Use Xylitol toothpaste, mouthwash, and nasal spray upon waking up
After breakfast use Xylitol gum, mints or candy
After lunch use Xylitol gum, mints or candy
After dinner use Xylitol gum, mints or candy
Use Xylitol toothpaste, mouthwash, and nasal spray upon going to bed