This is a good explanation of the workings of xylitol and the various benefits
(not confined to dental).
I myself buy bags of NOW brand xylitol and carry some around with me in a little vitamin
bottle, taking a bit from it as I feel the need. By this time I can tell the difference between
an acid and an alkaline condition in my mouth. Xylitol makes it much more alkaline.
I routinely use it (as well as honey) in coffee and herbal tea, and sometimes use it as a
replacement for Sugar in baking, although I don't do much of that in general.
The bad bacteria that cause cavities feed on xylitol in the mouth but they cannot use it for energy.
The bad bacteria keep trying (in scientific terms they go into a futile cycle and "burn" themselves out of energy).
As the bad bacteria of your mouth disappear - healthy ones take their place and start to protect your teeth.
Every day you eat xylitol you will start to make this change happen.
It is best to eat at least 6.5 grams each day and space it out across the day as much as possible for the best effects. This is why it was first put into chewing gum and mints - for the convenience of eating it several times a day. It is the sugary liquid in your mouth that is working to protect your teeth.
Xylitol would work - even if you spat it out after rinsing around your teeth!
But you may want to ingest it.
There are studies to show that it may help us to absorb calcium - which could help osteoporosis and alkalizing the body.
I eat xylitol for my teeth - but it certainly has other health benefits.
If you have acid reflux - eating it for six months will probably have great effects.
Make sure you do not mix xylitol with sorbitol - sorbitol ( artificial sweetener) is in some of the chewing gum advertised as "Now with Xylitol"
Sorbitol can make bad bacteria grow and thicken and undo the good work of the xylitol.