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A sweet new way to prevent cavities

Good news in the battle against cavities: The natural sweetener xylitol, which is found in many toothpastes, mouthwashes, gums and mints, can prevent cavities in toddlers, according to a study in the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine. Xylitol seems to act as an antibacterial agent against the germs that cause cavities. In the study of 94 babies, those who received 8 grams of liquid xylitol a day were up to 30 to 50 percent less likely to have tooth decay. According to the researchers, the sweetener could prevent up to 70 percent of tooth decay among kids.