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Xylitol is used as an artificial sweetener and its use prevents dental caries, not only by replacing sucrose but also by inhibiting Streptococcus mutans. Paediatricians in Finland found that xylitol also inhibited the growth of pneumococci, and in a 1996BMJ paper they showed that xylitol chewing gum reduced the occurrence of otitis media in children old enough to chew it. Now …