Tooth Care: 3 Year Old

Hello Dr. Ellie,

I was reading through your site and have decided to try your system for myself and my daughter. The main issue right now is with my daughter, I have not had many issues with my teeth but they can always be better I’m sure!

My daughter just turned 3. She went to a dentist about a month ago that told us she had two cavities, one was filled and we had to make another appt. for the other. We were not thrilled with this dentist’s “bedside” manner so we tried another dentist who told us she had five cavities.

Both dentists did tell us she has very deep grooves in her teeth. So we are scheduled to meet with a third to try to get a straight story. Either way we need to better her dental routine. I want to make sure I am going to order her the right products and give them to her correctly. So as I understand it I need to give her either the gum or candies (one or more?) after she eats and do the ACT rinse at bedtime, (morning also?)

What should she be brushing with? She does have a glass of water at her bedside in case she wants some, does the ACT have to be on for a certain amt of time? She is just learning to rinse and spit, should we brush with the ACT or try to rinse and spit? Thank you for any advice or info!


Hi JP,

Wow! Let’s try and get those cavities to remineralize ASAP and maybe you can reverse them and possibly avoid fillings.

There is a lot of information on the Zellies site for parents:

You may like to download this PDF about kids teeth:

I normally suggest that you start by mixing granular xylitol in warm water (as if you were making a cup of tea) and then allow the liquid to cool.

The liquid can be enjoyed from a water bottle or sippy cup. The child can sip or drink this Z-water at the end of meals, snacks or whenever they like especially before naps or during the night. This also makes an excellent protective drink to follow medicines and syrups so as to protect the child’s teeth after taking sweet or acidic medications.

Xylitol has a low glycemic index (7) and is the opposite of sugar (100).
This means that xylitol will not “spike” the child’s sugar levels and will therefore keep blood sugars stable.

Xylitol is safe for diabetic children.

As your 3 year old starts to enjoy other forms of xylitol in mints or gum (a three year old will probably like the fruit mints, fruit gum and kid’s raspberry gum) I would recommend working on giving her 6 to 10 grams xylitol a day ( the equivalent to two and a half teaspoons). More than this does not seem necessary, but is completely safe. You can mix and match the forms of xylito just kind of keep a math count on the total grams she consumes. It needs to be at least 6.5 grams for it to work its magic but more than 10 grams is not more beneficial.

FYI: The academic “safe” dose is 140 grams ( 35 teaspoons which I think is a quarter of a pound a day!)way more than anyone needs in a day!

Since your child has cavities I would suggest brushing her teeth with a drop of ACT(bubblegum 🙂 flavor?) in the morning and again before bed.

At night it is essential that you use the Z-water and never diluted juice.

Apple juice is often the culprit for young children. It is extremely acidic and can tear through teeth.
Give your daughter a little Z-water if she wants to drink apple or other juices to wash away the acidity. Same thing after any candy or sweets all you need is a little xylitol in some form to take away the damage.

Good luck and let me know how this works out.
My fingers are crossed see if your dentist will give you a few months to try and heal these teeth with xylitol.

Ellie Phillips DDS
Dental Health for Everyone!
26 Corporate Woods
Rochester NY 14623

Categories: Xylitol

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