Hi, I’m Dr. Heather Pranzarone Stratton at HPS Dental Care. We’re located in Shelby Township, Michigan on 24 Mile Road.  I wanted to answer some of our patients’ questions about why we have gum and candy at the dentist office. We have gum and candy here that is true it is all sugar free. And I wanted to talk a little bit about why we’re promoting gum and candy usage at our office. It tastes good and it freshens our breath. And so that’s all good news.  I actually think I usually carry a pocket or package of it in my pocket. Oh look I do see and here it is.

Basically what it is, it’s a gum and candy by the name of Spry. And it has xylitol in it. Xylitol we know is a naturally derived sweetener, sugar substitute some people call it. It’s derived from corn cobs. We also get the question, well, I’m allergic to corn. I know I used to be allergic to corn, so this was a big concern for me.  But they have, the manufacturers told us, it’s a different protein. The corncob is a different protein than the corn that we eat, the corn kernels that we eat. And so even if you have a corn allergy, it should be fine to eat. Xylitol is a great product in terms of the fact that it tastes good, some people actually bake with it. It has a lower glycemic index than sugar, so a lot of diabetics will use it in their cooking and baking. At very high does, the worst that’s going to happen to you is it’s going to cause a laxative effect. So you probably don’t want to eat bunches and bunches of xylitol in any given day, but we do recommend that you try and have some xylitol-containing product maybe about 5 times a day. Xylitol is found in toothpaste, in mouth rinse, in gum, in mints, nasal sprays; in all of these different types of products. It’s even just found in granulated sugar, I’m going to say. But it’s not sugar. But it’s a granulated xylitol product that you can use to sweeten your coffee, baking, so on and so forth.

It’s a very diverse product. The bacteria go ahead and try to eat the sugar. But when they try to eat that, they can’t digest it. It’s a different formulation than what sugar, sucrose, lactose, fructose, which are all different types of sugars are. It’s a different amount of carbons in these xylitol. So the bacteria now can’t stick your teeth. So when you get that white sticky film on your teeth, which we call plaque that’s caused by bacteria, and it’s caused by that bacteria eating some sort of sugary compound and sticking to your teeth, and that’s what causes gingivitis and decay. So when you eat something, like the candy or mints we have at the office, where you brush your teeth a Xylitol-containing compound that bacteria won’t stick, won’t make that sticky plaque- won’t stick to your teeth, or your tongue. So it’s a great product. So if you want to have some candy or some gum at the dentist’s office, we’re encouraging, that candy. If you have any questions about Spry or anything else that we have here at the office give us a call 248-652-0024.

HPS Dental Explains Consequences of Candy and Sugar