Associated Dental Specialists

Article by: Sue Hagan, RDH

We’ve been utilizing xylitol at Associated Dental Specialists for the last 10 years. We first became interested in xylitol for oral health because of the biofilm research Dr. Mark Cannon, senior partner and founder of Associated Dental Specialists, had previously done.  Dr. Cannon saw some amazing things when he exposed biofilm to xylitol.  One of the things we know about xylitol is it makes the biofilm less sticky, so we see a reduction in plaque in our patients who using xylitol.  A reduction in plaque leads to reduction in both caries and gingivitis. Given that our practice is a pediatric practice, it just makes sense to utilize xylitol. Kids often have difficulties brushing properly to remove plaque and the xylitol helps them to keep plaque off their teeth in the first place.

Our infants and toddlers typically use Spry Tooth Gel in the morning and night. Our older children use Spry Toothpaste with Fluoride, Spry dental floss (infused with xylitol), and Spry chewing gum, or suck on xylitol mints/candies after meals or snacks.

Dr. Cannon’s expertise also extends to orthodontics in our practice where patients who go through orthodontic treatment are asked to use xylitol throughout the day. We ask them to use Spry xylitol toothpaste, mints or candies during the day, and post orthodontic treatment they are asked to use xylitol floss and chewing gum. Treatment of an orthodontic patient who uses xylitol becomes much easier due to reduced plaque formation and healthier gingival tissues. When the brackets are removed, patients have much less decalcification so it’s a win-win situation for us and our patients.

Not only do our patients reap the dental benefits from using xylitol, but they truly enjoy the products. Spry products taste delicious and are easy to implement into any dental health protocol, this results in great compliance. In addition to dental benefits, xylitol is a healthy alternative to sugar and is often deemed the “good sugar.” Diabetics can safely use xylitol because it has a low glycemic index of 7 (compared to sugar’s glycemic index of 68) and this comes in handy with our diabetic patients.

Our patient’s parents are also on board with Spry products because they’re a safe way to help prevent tooth decay, low cost, easy to use, tastes amazing and it’s healthy for our bodies. Also, many of our parents are anti-fluoride, so utilization of xylitol is an alternative way for them to help reduce cavities. Those parents with special needs children use the non-fluoridated toothpastes so they don’t have to be concerned their child is swallowing too much fluoride. The toothpastes don’t contain any Sodium Laurel Sulfate (SLS) which is important to some parents as well. Parents purchase Spry products for their children at every Recare Visit with Dr. Cannon, which makes getting xylitol products super convenient for busy families and parents appreciate that.

The bottom line is, we and Dr. Cannon believe in Spry xylitol products for our patients because we’ve seen firsthand how our patient’s oral and overall health has improved. We promote the entire Spry line, as well as the Xlear Sinus Care products for the prevention of ear infections in our patients. Being able to start children out with natural quality products they can use to remain healthy for their entire lifetime is a wonderfully rewarding experience!