Xylitol actually is a natural product found in many fruits and vegetables at low concentrations. For large-scale use, it’s typically extracted from birch trees or corncobs. It’s significantly sweeter than sugar but has less than 1/10th the glycemic value so it’s safe for diabetics.
Some reports show that xylitol is actually beneficial in oral care products because it cannot be used as an energy source for the bacteria that cause cavities and bad breath. There’s also some evidence that it creates a chemical reaction in the mouth that may make calcium more easily re-absorbed into teeth, thus re-mineralizing damaged areas. (Learn more at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xylitol.)
Frankly, the science isn’t clear enough that we would rush out and take the large portions of xylitol recommended – about 6 grams per day. However, when we consider that it makes a very bitter neem bark extract taste pleasant enough that people will use it two or three times a day, it’s the sensible and safe choice.
We know customers who swish the straight neem bark extract in their mouths a couple of times a day, but they are major-league neem fans. The average person is much more likely to avoid neem extract unless they’re facing serious dental issues and will try practically anything.
Our neem mouthwash is basically neem bark extract — what your grandmother might have called neem bark tincture — mixed with xylitol and essential oils of either cinnamon or peppermint. (Both of those natural products also have a long history of use in oral care, learn more at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4054083/ and http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17567030.)
Or learn why some researchers recommend neem mouthwash for oral care at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4441161/.