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Using and Incorporating Xylitol in the Dental Practice

An Interview with Dr. John Bruinsma

Learning Objectives:

This podcast is an interview with Dr. John Bruinsma on the effects and use of xylitol. After hearing this podcast, the listener should:

  • Know what xylitol is, how it is delivered, and how it positively affects three of the “manageable” pathologic conditions that lead to dental decay.
  • Be ready to inform future patients about ways in which they can get xylitol

As you may know, xylitol is an all-natural, simple sugar substitute that has been shown to decrease bad bacteria in the oral environment, replenish saliva, and replace unhealthy or sugary snacks in a patient’s diet, all of which are considered pathologic causes of dental decay.  In this interview with Dr. Bruinsma, we explore the use and effects of xylitol, delivery methods, and the expanding ways in which xylitol is used in today’s dental practice.

*Dr. Bruinsma is a graduate of the University of Michigan. He currently owns and operates a private practice with his wife, Debra, a registered dental hygienist. He also owns and operates Dr. John’s Candies, a company that produces and distributes xylitol candies and snacks.

Related Reading:

  1. Makinen KK. New biochemical aspects of sweeteners. Int Dent J 1985;35:23-35.
  2. Makinen KK, Isokangas P. Relationship between carbohydrate sweeteners and oral diseases. Prog Food Nutr Sci 1988;12:73-109.
  3. Makinen KK, Scheinin A. Turku sugar studies VII. Principal biochemical findings on whole saliva and plaque. Acta Odontol Scand 1976;34:241-283.
  4. Makinen KK, Bennett CA, Hujoel PP, et al. Xylitol chewing gums and caries rates: A 40-month cohort study. J Dent Res 1995;74:1904-1913.
  5. Makinen KK, Hujoel PP, Bennett CA, et al. Polyol chewing gums and caries rates in primary dentition: A 24-month cohort study. Caries Res 1996a;30:408-417.
  6. Makinen KK, Makinen PL, Pape HR Jr, et al. Conclusion and review of the Michigan xylitol programme (1986-1995) for the prevention of dental caries. Int Dent J 1996b;46:22-34.
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