Dental Care – Special Needs

Dear Dr. Ellie,

I am an occupational therapist for a group home for people with special needs. The residents have a variety of developmental and health-related challenges. Can you tell me a little about how xylitol can help these people, and how I might introduce it into their lives.


Shirley W.

Dear Shirley,

That is a good question. We hear from a lot of people who are dealing with challenging situations, and are trying to do the right thing for the people they care for. You should be applauded for your interest in making dental health a priority for your residents.

Zellies Xylitol mints can help people with special needs or in hospital, or long-term care situations. Zellies are tasty and easy to eat throughout the day, and are safe for diabetics and can be enjoyed freely.

Developmentally disabled children and adults often present challenges for oral hygiene. Caretakers can protect teeth and control plaque with Zellies mints, gum or the use of a Xylitol spray. The change in plaque build up will begin immediately but may take 6-12 months to be noticed, but the results will be worth the wait.

Crowded teeth may also be hard to clean, especially when patients are unable to rinse or spit out. If this plaque grows, cavities and gum disease will result. Regular eating of Zellies each day will reduce plaque and help control its build up.

Medicines that dry the mouth or are sweetened with sugar can make dental problems worse. Zellies will protect teeth after medications and anytime day or night.

Additional information for caretakers: Zellies will prevent fungal mouth infections, seen in debilitated and dehydrated patients (soreness at the corners or roof of the mouth). Zellies contain 100% Xylitol, which has been shown to reduce cavities by up to 80% in people who do not regularly clean their teeth.

Zellies are also diabetic friendly.

Remember that bottled waters vary in acidity levels: Evian water is one of the most protective waters for teeth (pH 7.2).

Additional help: Teeth can be sprayed with a Xylitol spray or cleaned with a home made solution of Xylitol. Xylitol solution can be safely swallowed and tastes delicious! The solution protects teeth and there is no need to rinse off. Dissolve 4 grams of Xylitol in 4 oz of warm water. Dip a toothbrush or soft cloth in the solution and brush or rub on teeth.

Granular Xylitol is available in 4 oz packets on this site or from health food stores. Xylitol can be used on foods, fruits and in cooking, such as in cakes, pies and puddings. To purchase granular Xylitol please visit our online store.

Good luck, and thank you for your work.

Dr. Ellie

Categories: Uncategorized


  • I agree. Oral care is very important. Xylitol is a tooth friendly sugars that can help avoid Diabetes, Osteoporosis and many more.Your friendly Naperville cosmetic Dentist

  • >
    %d bloggers like this: