Help with Children’s Teeth

Hi Dr. Ellie,

We have been using xylitol, Act, MI paste, and Listerine on our toothbrushes for a couple of months. We started protocol due to problems on our dauther’s  now 21 months old front, top four teeth.

All of a sudden, my son (3.5 years old) seems to have some changes happening on his front two teeth. His have always looked great, but I am seeing some thin enamel I think that is what it is and some semi-chalky lines

Very distressed what could be going on?


Hi L,

Tooth damage is always related to acidity and/or dry mouth. If you can pin-point the source of acidity that is harming these teeth this will help you control the problem.

Remember juice of any kind is very acidic. Even diet products can damage teeth through their acidity.

I assume you are “cleaning” your toothbrushes with the Listerine which is good. I recommend swishing the head of brushes in Listerine but wash them off under the faucet and then store dry.

What kind of toothpaste do you use?
I would suggest in place of paste, use a drop of ACT on the toothbrush to brush his teeth.

I would be interested to know how you are using the xylitol for your kids.

The best time to eat xylitol is after meals either in the granular form or dissolved in water.
Give your kids a drink of this at the conclusion of meals, snacks or after any juice drink.

Xylitol will not be as effective if you simply add it into the juice. View xylitol as “cleaning” teeth AFTER foods and drinks that may have damaged (demineralized) them.

Hope this helps,

Categories: Xylitol

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  • ~ Denise ~ says:

    Dear Dr. Ellie,I just found your blog and am very impressed. I was hoping you could help me; I have 3 children (ages 13, 10 and 9). While we have dental insurance, we don't have money for the co-pays or the additional cost above what the insurance pays. A few years ago, my 10 yr old had 2 "baby root canals" done, and had sealants put on prior to that. He suffers from bad breath as well. He eats a very healthy diet (more so than 13 & 9 yr old sisters) and brushes 2x/day, flosses each night. My 13 yr old has odd staining on her teeth, and has had it for years. When I asked her former dentist about it, he just shrugged and said it was "fine" and "not to worry". But she's 13 now, and has brown streaked teeth. My 9 yr old's teeth have had no issues as yet. I recently developed my first ever cavity (never had one during years of braces). I haven't had it filled yet, as I can't afford to do so. But it is a visible black "hole" on my tooth. Please give me your advice about what to do, esp. for my children. Is the CWS too much for my 10 yr old? And would it help my 13 yr old's staining? Thank you for your time.

  • Anonymous says:

    Dr. Ellie,I was wondering if you would be interested in writing one or more short articles for my blog “My Dental Complaint” I have on dental health ( I wouldn’t ask for long, elaborate articles, just 100-300 words about a topic that deals with dental health and would be of interest to my blog readers. If rather than writing an article you would prefer to leave a comment about one of my articles I would welcome that as well. I would love to know what you think of my current week’s subject title “Good News For Junk-Food Junkies”. Kenneth Kowalsky, Blogger

  • Dr. Ellie says:

    From a time perspective I would prefer right now to give you a short article – give me a subject!I will take a look at your blog – and I will comment when I can. The next few days and into the weekend are very hectic.Thanks so much for your invitation and interest, Ellie

  • Dr. Ellie says:

    I am very comfortable with 9 year old children using the system that I recommend. They will see the color of their teeth improve (naturally) as their teeth harden and become more mineralized. I cannot guarantee that all the staining will go away – it takes about a year for you to asses the improvements.In a year you can decide if the teeth are lighter in color and, if so, I would suggest continue with this system for at least two years, before using harsh bleaching things. Xylitol in the dose suggested (6.5 grams a day) will be very useful and the ACT rinse will especially help newly erupting teeth absorb minerals quickly.This system will keep your kids teeth better protected from damage and reduce their risk of cavities. All new teeth erupt into the mouth soft and porous (and very vulnerable to damage. A natural process occurs during the first year of a tooth’s life – after it has erupted into the mouth.Minerals from saliva enter open pores in the outer enamel. This strengthens and hardens the new tooth. Only when this process is complete( and it normally takes a year) before the tooth is “mature” from a dental viewpoint! The problem is that soft teeth are not strong enough to resist damage from acidic things (like drinks and foods in our diet). If your kids have acid-producing plaque in their mouths ( acid-producing plaque bacteria are transferred between families during kissing and sharing food) then these soft teeth will be at risk for damage and cavities. ACT and xylitol work in harmony to speed up the maturation process and protect teeth. Closys is not essential for your teens – but it will help any bad breath problem! Closys added to the system makes teeth feel particularly clean and nice. Once you have felt your teeth this clean – you will not live without it! It will be important for the whole family to understand that collectively you are going to clean up your mouths!To be successful everyone needs to participate or you may re-infect each other!Don’t forget your toothbrushes – see my link about toothbrush hygiene. Good luck and let me know if you have any other questions,Ellie

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