Chipped Teeth

Dear Dr. Ellie,

I have a question for you that I hope you can give me some advice and encouragement on.

My 2 year old fell about 3 weeks ago and chipped three of her front teeth; the two front teeth and one to the side. She had already fallen and chipped one of her front teeth so now that particular tooth has a bigger chip missing. About a week later that tooth turned brown. We went to the doctor and he said if she gets an abscess he will have to remove the tooth. Also that there is nothing he can do about her tooth–she will have that little brown tooth until she looses it around age 5. So I am so upset. Which led me to your website. Oh by they way, he also said she had two cavities, not bad ones, and he would need to give her laughing gas to repair them. Oh my God! I am not ready for that!

I guess I want to know if chewing the gum after meals, drinking the tsp of xylitol in water before bed (she likes to have milk before bed) and brushing her teeth will help to strengthen her chipped teeth as well as keep it from developing an abscess? And what about the cavities? I nursed till 1 1/2 and she likes to go to sleep with milk. I think that is the culprit from what I read, something about “caries”, but I dont know.

Any advice you may have please share it with me. Any particular regimen I should follow to help protect her teeth….

A Mommy in Chicago

Dear Chicago Mom,

I would be happy to talk with you on the phone if that would help you (no charge).
If you would like to do this just let me know a number and a good time to call.

I am a pediatric and a general dentist and I have worked with children for many years.
Your ideas sound great use the gum for “tooth-cleaning” after meals and snacks. This way, whatever your child eats her teeth will be safe and tooth-healthy. The last thing you leave on your teeth after each meal is the important thing.

If you finish a meal with apple juice on your teeth they will be in danger. If you finish your meal with some Zellies your teeth will be safe! It is that simple.

Milk itself does not cause tooth decay as long as it is regular cows’ milk. Soy and formula are different and they can be harmful to teeth. Whatever she drinks, you do not have to worry as long as you “clean” teeth with some xylitol.

The most damaging drinks for teeth are soda (diet and regular) apple juice, fruit-punch or any of the Kool Aid drinks, juice boxes etc. It is hard to stop kids from drinking juice so just make sure that after the drinks they clean off the “juice goo” with Zellies. In 6 months you will notice a big change in these teeth.

I recommend cleaning toothbrushes carefully every day to get rid of harmful germs that grow on toothbrushes. Each morning after brushing swish the brush in some Listerine and rinse it off then let it dry before using it again. Keep her brush in the kitchen or at least away from any open toilet bad germs are flushed into the air and can land on toothbrushes if they are in the same room.

Children’s toothpaste often contains sugar and bad stuff. I would suggest buying bubblegum flavor ACT and use a drop of it on her toothbrush to clean her teeth. She is too young to rinse and spit out safely but if you just use a drop of ACT on the brush, this can help harden teeth.

ACT and Zellies work together to REVERSE soft teeth and in this way REVERSE cavities. Maybe we can surprise her dentist!

I am sorry that you have been blamed for these problems. I explain to people that it is NOT their fault and how EASY IT IS to protect teeth. Good luck and please let me know if I can help with more information.

Please keep in touch,
Ellie Phillips
Dental Health for Everyone!
26, Corporate Woods
Rochester NY 14623

Categories: Xylitol

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  • Anonymous says:

    My 11month old daughter chipped her front tooth on Tuesday. I took her to the Dentist and he said her root was exposed he showed me and sure enough there was a tiny pink spot right in the center of her tooth. He said my only options were to try and save the tooth with a baby root canal or extraction. The root canal sounded the least traumatic for her. So on Thursday we had the root canal. Thursday night she had a fever of 103 that continued into the morning. I took her to the Dr. and she had puss and blood streaming down her new crown. Scary!! The Dr. gave her roseefrin and seemed to help a little she still had a 103 fever until Friday night about 11pm.So now we have to go back to the dentist on Tuesday and get a xray to make sure it's not an abcest.Was there another option or was that really my only options?

  • Dr. Ellie says:

    I am so sorry for you and your daughter. This is not a great introduction to dentistry for anyone.I believe that the options were the ones given to you. It seems strange that the infection was so severe and so immediate.Could another tooth be involved by any chance? I would let your dentist lead you through this unfortunate experience.The most important factor is to get rid of any infection so that the new developing teeth ( in the gums underneath the roots of the baby teeth ) are not affected by any chronic infection. I have little to offer except much sympathy.Ellie http://www.zellies.com26 Corporate WoodsRochester, NY 14623(585) 272-1270

  • Anonymous says:

    Hi, I have a similar case my two year old's front tooth is brown, and just recently she fell and hit her mouth. Also, I've heard sippy cups can cause tooth decay.Which do you think is the reason? And her dentist appt. isn't for another two weeks, its's just bothering. HELP!

  • Dr. Ellie says:

    If discoloration is only on one tooth then it is unlikely to be tooth decay.If two front teeth have brown coloring – this would more likely be the start of a cavity, then xylitol can help!Xylitol is great in a sippy cup – turn a problem into a great solution! You can buy granular xylitol and put half a teaspoon into water or milk to make a great sippy cup drink! If your toddler fell and hit this tooth, and only one tooth is darker – this tooth is possibly "bruised".All Moms knows the falling and tumbling that toddlers do – so this happens to teeth all the time. Most of these "bruises" go through the pattern of a regular bruise (as if it were on your arm or leg, for example).The tooth will be dark black/blue; then yellowish/brown; sometimes greenish/yellow; and then completely disappear and look normal again – just like the other teeth. The pattern of colors indicates the tooth is healing itself.The bruise is being "worked" on by a natural healing process. Your dentist may decide to take an X ray to ensure that the permanent tooth ( in the jaw above this tooth) did not suffer damage during the fall/bump. Again, damage is unlikely at such a young age because the adult tooth is high up in the jaw. Problems are more likely to happen with older children (4 or 5 years old) if they have a very serious fall or accident, because their adult tooth is ready to erupt and often close under the baby incisor. If the bruise does not go away, this tooth may need some dental treatment.Again, don't worry too much – the treatment for a bruise that does not heal is quick and simple – and usually your dentist can make the tooth as if it never happened! Best Wishes and my fingers are crossed – hoping that you watch a rainbow of colors with this tooth during the next two weeks! There isn't much you can do to speed the healing – good nutritious food – maybe some fresh pineapple ( said to speed healing).Pineapple may be worth a try if your toddler likes it! Check out the website ( search Nutrition Institute – for "Post Op" pineapple!)Here is the link: Ellie http://www.zellies.com26 Corporate WoodsRochester, NY 14623(585) 272-1270

  • Anonymous says:

    Hi Dr. Elli – I have a similar issue regarding my 10 month old daughter – her tooth came in with a chip in the middle and a faint brown line. After consulting a pediatric dentist it was determined we should have the tooth capped to build up the enamel. I am concerned that first my daughter will not keep still or her mouth open for the proceedure and second is it really necessary. Can you give me any guidance on next steps. I hate to put her through the proceedure if there is something else we can do to prevent future damage to her adult teeth. Thanks in advance for reading this and adding your comments.

  • Dr. Ellie says:

    I am not in any position to diagnose, but if this is the start of a cavity – preventive remineralizing treatment is appropriate ( xylitol and the mouth rinse system that I recommend).If this is some other kind of weakness – it may not go away, but building up the enamel around the defect will help the chances of any restoration last longer when ( if ) it eventually needed.Delaying such dental treatment should not pose any problem – providing she is on a mouth-healthy program – reducing any risk for disease and building the strength of her teeth.From your story, I would think that delaying the treatment offers a lot of positive features.There is rarely any reason to RUSH into dental treatments, providing she uses adequate amounts of xylitol daily and does the rinses.Take some before and after photos – just to compare the outcome.Also – you may want to mark the dates on a calendar – and perhaps give this 6-9 months and see if there are any positive changes.Best Wishes,Ellie

  • Anonymous says:

    Hi Dr Ellie my 11 month old son fell and chipped his tooth ever so slightly a few weeks ago , but never seemed to be in pain , I've been keeping a close eye on it and it has not changed , however last night my son fell and smacked his jaw , it was only this morning that i saw he has chipped his tooth again , this time in the middle again ever so slightly but its making me feel guilty and very worried I have been reading many forums and such and read that in years to come if not soon after tooth decay and discoloration could happenany advice would be very much appreciated

  • Dr. Ellie says:

    Any chance of a picture? My email address is

  • Carrie says:

    My 10 month old baby chipped a tooth. She was in the bath and tried to stand up when she fell. There was a little bit of blood and the corner of one of her top front teeth broke off. She seems fine… what should I do? How will I know if a nerve is exposed? (It doesn't seem deep, just the corner of the tooth along the top of it). I feel so bad for her – will this be a problem as she ages, and when will she lose her tooth?

  • Dr. Ellie says:

    This is too hard to answer – I would need more information and a

  • Anonymous says:

    Hi there, My daughter just turned one yesterday, however I am very concerned with somethong going on with her teeth. She has nine teeth and six of them looked chipped and discolored. All of the chipps are at the bottom of the teeth when she was teething she would chew on her crib to the point there were chunks of her crib were scraped off. I took her to her peds and he said nothing about it. She had scraped the front of her front tooth offhe claimed that the tooth was dead, now there are several others that "looked" chipped but rshe hasent chewed or been "teething" for several months. I am concerned that now almost all of her teeth are now dead and am confused on what could cause this to continue…. At foray I thought bottle rot, but read that starts at the root… Can you help? Thanks so much…..Worried mother from Michigan

  • Dr. Ellie says:

    Please can you send a picture to my e-mail address: ellie@zellies.comThank youEllie

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