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Xylitol Toothpaste - Benefits, Effects & Best Products

Updated on July 11, 2022
Khushbu Gopalakrishnan Headshot
Written by Zia Sherrell
Medically Reviewed by Khushbu Gopalakrishnan

What is Xylitol Toothpaste?

Brushing with toothpaste is an important part of oral hygiene. It helps remove plaque and bacteria from the teeth and freshens the breath. 

Xylitol toothpaste contains a substance called xylitol, a sugar alcohol. Xylitol helps sweeten toothpaste and make it more palatable. However, unlike traditional sugar, it doesn't contribute to tooth decay. In fact, it may help prevent dental caries and improve dental health.1

Xylitol is a safe and effective way to help improve the taste of toothpaste and increase its cavity-fighting power.

About Xylitol 

Xylitol occurs naturally in fruits, vegetables, and trees (e.g., birch trees). The human body also produces it during metabolism. Although it exists in nature, it’s still considered an artificial sweetener.2

As the name suggests, sugar alcohols like xylitol are a mixture of sugar and alcohol molecules. These sweeteners taste and look like sugar, so they are often used as sugar substitutes since xylitol has around 40% fewer calories than sugar and doesn’t raise blood glucose levels.3

Unlike sugar, xylitol doesn’t cause tooth decay but instead has been proven to prevent it.1

How Does Xylitol Affect Teeth?

Dr. Khushbu Aggarwal, NewMouth’s in-house dentist, says xylitol has several protective effects against cavities. For example, it: 

  1. Disrupts the energy production process of cavity-causing bacteria
  2. Reduces plaque formation
  3. Decreases bacterial adherence to the teeth
  4. Reduces acid production, thus protecting tooth enamel

When you use xylitol long-term, it changes the balance of the organisms in the oral cavity. As a result, the good microorganisms become more dominant, while the bad ones are reduced. These effects may help reduce gum disease.4

Additionally, xylitol stimulates saliva production. Saliva is the mouth’s natural defense against tooth decay. It neutralizes acids, washes away food particles, and provides essential minerals to the teeth. 

Benefits of Xylitol Toothpaste 

According to Dr. Aggarwal, there are many benefits of using xylitol toothpaste.  

Studies have shown that toothpastes with xylitol decrease the number of cavity-causing microorganisms and the oral cavity's acidity. Together, these effects contribute to a decreased rate of cavities. 

A bacteria called Streptococcus mutans is the main contributor to tooth caries and enamel breakdown. It can pass from parents to their newborn children. However, studies have shown that when mothers use xylitol regularly, it reduces this transmission, resulting in fewer cavities in the child.5

When added to fluoride toothpaste, xylitol may have even more protective effects on the enamel. You'll get optimal dental benefits from xylitol with a daily intake of 5 grams

In addition to toothpaste, you can find xylitol gum or mints. It is important to chew xylitol gum for about 5 minutes and allow xylitol mints to dissolve in the mouth fully for optimal benefits.

Potential Side Effects of Xylitol

The large intestine digests xylitol slowly. So, although it’s safe for most people, it can also cause digestive upset. Stick to 5 grams daily, as exceeding this amount may cause diarrhea, loose stools, constipation, bloating, and gas. 

Some people also experience mouth sores or a dry mouth.

Additionally, xylitol is extremely poisonous to dogs. If dogs ingest it, they may experience a drop in blood sugar, seizures, and even liver failure. Keep xylitol products out of reach of pets. 

If your dog eats xylitol in any form, seek immediate veterinary attention. 

Xylitol vs. Fluoride

Xylitol is a great oral health tool, but it’s not the only one. Fluoride is another substance that protects teeth from decay.

Sodium fluoride is a mineral that occurs naturally in many foods. It's also added to toothpastes, mouthwashes, and municipal water supplies and is approved by the American Dental Association (ADA). Your dentist may recommend a high-concentration fluoride treatment to improve your oral health.6

Fluoride protects teeth by preventing mineral loss in tooth enamel and replacing lost minerals. It also inhibits bacterial acidity. Therefore, fluoride can reverse or stop early tooth decay. 

Xylitol and fluoride have similar positive dental health effects but work differently. Xylitol reduces the growth of cavity-causing bacteria. Conversely, fluoride strengthens tooth enamel and reverses early decay.

Best Xylitol Toothpastes

If you’re looking for the best toothpaste with xylitol, the number of choices can be overwhelming. To help you pick one, we've compiled a list of the three best xylitol toothpastes available:

1. CariFree CTx4 Gel 1100 .24%

CariFree products are safe, scientifically-backed, and highly effective at preventing cavities. They use a patented pH system that balances the microorganisms in your mouth for a healthy oral environment. 

The CTx4 Gel 1100 neutralizes decay-causing acids. It contains xylitol and fluoride and optimal levels of nano-hydroxyapatite. Nano-hydroxyapatite is the major component of tooth enamel and dentin and has significant remineralizing effects. In addition to preventing cavities, this toothpaste may reduce tooth sensitivity.7

The toothpaste comes in 2 fl oz (57g) tubes, enough for brushing twice a day for a month. You can choose between the traditional mint flavor or citrus and grape flavors.

2. Spry Xylitol and Fluoride Toothpaste

Spry combines the power of anticavity fluoride and bacteria-fighting xylitol to clean teeth and freshen breath. 

This Spry toothpaste is safe for both kids and adults. It has a natural spearmint flavor that leaves your mouth feeling fresh and clean. 

It's also sweetened with 100% xylitol and does not contain sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), which is known to cause mouth sores in some people. It contains zinc citrate to control plaque and freshen breath. Plus, all the ingredients are non-GMO, vegan, and cruelty-free, so you can feel good about your oral care routine. 

Spry toothpaste is also budget-friendly, costing around $6.50 for a 5 oz (140g) tube. That's enough for about 2 months of brushing twice daily.

3. Epic Fluoride and Xylitol Toothpaste 

Epic is a company that centers around xylitol and raves about its benefits. All their products, including mouthwashes, breath mints, chewing gums, and toothpastes, are sweetened with it.

This toothpaste contains a combination of fluoride and 31% xylitol. It helps prevent tooth decay, plaque, and tartar. It has a refreshing spearmint flavor, so it tastes great. It’s also safe for both children and adults. 

Epic xylitol toothpaste comes in a 4.9 oz (139g) tube and costs around $7.50. If you prefer, there is also a fluoride-free option.

Last updated on July 11, 2022
7 Sources Cited
Last updated on July 11, 2022
All NewMouth content is medically reviewed and fact-checked by a licensed dentist or orthodontist to ensure the information is factual, current, and relevant.

We have strict sourcing guidelines and only cite from current scientific research, such as scholarly articles, dentistry textbooks, government agencies, and medical journals. This also includes information provided by the American Dental Association (ADA), the American Association of Orthodontics (AAO), and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).
  1. Nayak, P. A., et al.The effect of xylitol on dental caries and oral flora.” Clinical, cosmetic and investigational dentistry. 2014. 
  2. Xylitol.” Science Direct. 2015.
  3. Damião Xavier, F.,  et al.Evaluation of the Simultaneous Production of Xylitol and Ethanol from Sisal Fiber.” Biomolecules. 2018. 
  4. Janakiram, C., et al.Xylitol in preventing dental caries: A systematic review and meta-analyses.” Journal of natural science, biology, and medicine. 2017.
  5. Xylitol.” California Dental Association.
  6. Fluoride: Topical and Systemic Supplements.” American Dental Association. 2021.
  7. Pepla, E., et al.Nano-hydroxyapatite and its applications in preventive, restorative and regenerative dentistry: a review of literature.” Annali di stomatologia. 2014.
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