Dear Dr. Ellie:
How many mints should my 10 year old son have per day? He weighs 68 lbs and is under the care of a pediatric gastroenterologist for acid reflux. He also has seasonal allergies and suffers from PND. I think the xylitol may help him. Thanks for your response.
I would suggest that you make sure that your son does not consume any products with sorbitol in them. Sorbitol appears to grow plaque bacteria and also seems to contribute to acid reflux symptoms.
Xylitol is specifically antibacterial for this harmful kind of bacteria. I agree that xylitol may help control his acid reflux. Obviously his teeth are at risk from the acidity in his mouth so xylitol will simultaneously be helpful in working to remineralize his teeth.
I would suggest that you dissolve one packet (4 grams of xylitol) in a cup of warm water and allow him to sip this liquid in a water bottle during the day, after meals or whenever his mouth feels dry. I would give him an additional 4 grams of xylitol daily in the form of mints (8 mints). Two after meals and maybe two after an evening snack or whatever routine fits for your family life.
This way his total dose will be 8 grams, but his intake will be spaced out at least 5-6 times a day. You want at least 6.5-10 grams a day so 8 grams is a really good amount to aim for. I think that continuous use of a small amount after meals is the ideal way to use xylitol.
Use xylitol to wash acidity off teeth after meals, snacks and use whenever the mouth is dry.
I think the combination of granular xylitol in a water solution( used as a water bottle) along with a reasonable number of mints will make sticking to this routine do-able.
In addition to xylitol I would suggest that your son rinses twice a day with ACT dilute fluoride rinse. This rinse will help build stronger acid-resistant enamel that will help his teeth resist the effects of acid reflux. Morning and night would be good times to do this rinsing – and don’t let him eat or drink afterwards for at least half and hour.
Hope this helps,
Ellie Phillips DDS
Dental Health for Everyone!
26 Corporate Woods
Rochester NY 14623