Dental hygienists are finding something to smile about in the checkout aisle lately, and for once, it has nothing to do with whiter teeth. Xylitol, an all-natural, diabetic-friendly sweetener derived from birch trees, corn husks and other plant sources, is proving remarkably effective at fighting cavities and periodontal disease. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently began allowing a limited health claim about these benefits, and a handful of brands, such as Trident gums, have ...

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