Children’s Use of Xylitol

Dear Dr. Ellie, 

I have been using your CWT system for about three months and am extremely pleased. I have three children ages 8, 7 and 4 years old. I currently give them about 8 zellies mints each day. I don’t want to continue giving them fluoride vitamins as I think it has discolored my son’s teeth somewhat. I would like to start them on the CWT program but wondered if it needed to be tailored to their age. Should I forgo the listerine and just use the Closys, Crest toothpaste and ACT rinse? 

Thank you.

MRC, New Jersey

Dear MRC,

A great question.

The Complete System is designed for adult teeth. Usually kids start to have most adult teeth in their early to mid teens. If a child has braces I think you could consider this system to help control gum problems sometimes hard to control with braces in place.

My system does a great job for anyone unable or unwilling to floss. It is superb when your child has braces since flossing is impossible at this time.

I recommend teaching little kids to rinse and spit. Once this has been proven efficient, I suggest ACT around the age of six when new molar teeth erupt into the mouth. You want to help new molar teeth “mature” or harden as quickly as possible to give them strength to avoid cavities.

Xylitol and fluoride have been shown to work in harmony to strengthen and mature teeth.

If your child is worried that new teeth look dark as they erupt at around 7 or 8 years old, use ACT and xylitol for about 6 months. If you are still worried that their teeth look dark or yellow I would suggest the entire system for six months. Use the system for at least a year before letting any child use a whitening product.

New teeth are soft. This is why new teeth look dark. Use ACT and xylitol to strengthen and brighten them not bleaching or whitening agents. Bleaching and whitening agents usually contain acids that make the teeth even softer, stain again and sensitive.

If any child over the age of five has cavities I would suggest Zellies and xylitol in combination with ACT fluoride rinsing. I warn parents about children’s toothpastes- many contain sugar and sorbitol (not good). I would suggest a kid with cavities brush with ACT fluoride on the toothbrush.

Make sure children’s toothbrushes are keep clean EVERY day harmful bacteria grow on toothbrushes.

Hope this helps,
Ellie Phillips, DDS

Categories: Xylitol

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