Dear Dr. Ellie:
Hello My 18 month old son has white spots across the top of his teeth near his gums. We brush every day. He still nurses a lot at night I’m wanting to prevent cavities. I’m a little concerned about the spot across the top of his teeth. My girlfriend told me about xylitol. What do I have to order and how often do I have it use it?
Thanks in advance for any information help
Xylitol is the exact opposite of sugar when it comes to health and teeth. Xylitol tastes like sugar slightly fruitier and it is delicious!
Xylitol is healthy and helps strengthen teeth while (at the same time) it gets rid of plaque.
The more often you have xylitol in your mouth the better your teeth will be! For damaged teeth with white spots I would expect to see improvements in about a month if you do the following:
Ideally you need to apply/drink or eat about a teaspoon of xylitol a day. The effect is directly on teeth but xylitol is completely safe to eat or drink. This is why you can brush it on, eat it or drink it.
Xylitol works best at the end of meals (a time when plaque grows). At the end of a meal, plaque bacteria triple their numbers. We try to use xylitol to stop this happening!
Xylitol works best if you split the “teaspoon of xylitol” into tiny amounts, after meals, many times a day. For older children and adults, a breath mint made from 100 percent xylitol after meals, snacks and drinks works perfectly. Some people prefer to eat 100 percent xylitol gum after meals the choice is theirs.
The entire family should consider eating xylitol each day, since bad bacteria in your mouth will be transferred to your baby while sharing meals or during a kiss.
Bad teeth are the result of bad bacteria that are transmissible and contagious!
Parents and caretakers ( think day care, grandparents, siblings etc) infect a baby with bacteria that live in their own plaque and on their bad teeth! (Clean family toothbrushes carefully in Listerine each day and make sure your baby has their own brush keep it clean and away from any possible infected brushes. To clean a toothbrush: swish the brush in Listerine, rinse out and dry completely to kill bacteria and molds on the brush)
For children who are too young for xylitol mints or gum, I recommend you put a little granular xylitol on a teaspoon (about a quarter of a teaspoon) and feed directly on their tongue after meals. Or you can dissolve a teaspoon of xylitol in two ounces of water and give this in a baby bottle or sippy cup.
It is best not to drink it all at once, but have a little at the end of each meals/feeding so teeth are exposed to xylitol several times a day.
For disabled or very young children, you can wipe or brush this solution of xylitol onto teeth. For children who are unable to swallow, you can add a thickening agent to help apply the liquid.
(“Thick-It2” is a product used to thicken liquids. Look for Thick-It2 which is a newer product and does not contain sugar or maltose. Thick-It2 is often available at Pharmacy counters http://www.woodburyproducts.com/thickit_powder.htm ).
In addition to this, I think you should apply a drop of ACT bubblegum rinse on either a Q tip or on a brush a couple of times a day. Many parents dab this solution onto the child’s teeth directly on the white spots while the baby is sleeping. The combination of ACT with xylitol will speed and improve the healing process.
Good luck and please let me know if you have more questions,
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