Children’s Teeth

Hello Dr. Ellie,

I have been in contact with you in the past regarding my now two year old son. He has had several dental visits to ‘watch’ two ‘holes’ in his teeth.

I have had him on Zellies mints and Spiffies tooth cleaner along with ACT for a few months now. I must be doing something wrong though, while the ECC on his front teeth are gone {they looked a really bad yellow color and we were told they would need filled} one of his little holes in his molar has started to turn brown and a bit more sticky.

I have been making sure he has 6g of Xylitol almost every day {there are very few days of 3g}, should I be spacing it out more rather than just making sure he has it? Will it hurt his teeth if I brush and ACT three or four times a day? I have faith in Xylitol but am a little worried at the moment at the thought of him screaming to have this hole filled {his pediatric dentist has informed us that he wants to put him under GA to fill these holes and that just isn’t an option for us}.

I’m sure you can sense the panic in this email and I do apologize. How long would you recommend using the Xylitol/ACT before breaking down to fill this hole? I’m terribly worried that he will be in pain and/or that it will abscess on him. It is a tiny little thing but in a deep groove of his tooth. Any suggestions you have are greatly appreciated, I have just ordered more mints, Xylitol packets and tooth wash, I want to keep trying!

Thank you again,


When “cavities” turn darker – that is not necessarily a bad sign. Think of this as a “scab” on your skin. The wound turns dark and then new skin grows underneath. Finally the scab falls off to reveal the new perfect skin underneath.

It is the same with teeth. If you are rigorous with the combination of ACT and xylitol you will be successful. The combination of dilute sodium fluoride and 6-7 grams of xylitol will work.
There are some rules!………….

You need to expose Eli’s teeth to ACT 2-3 times a day.
He is too young to be rinsing, so brush his teeth with a clean toothbrush and a drop of bubblegum ACT 2-3 times a day. It is essential that this is the last thing on his teeth before sleeping or taking a nap.

You need to space the “doses” of xylitol throughout the day the more times the better.
At least three to four times a day one or two Zellies after meals, snacks and drinks.
Maybe some granular xylitol in water as a drink.

If your son likes sugary or juice drinks give him Zellies or clean with Spiffies after any of these.

The bacteria of cavities are infectious, contagious and transmissible. If you, your family or day care contacts have bad gums or teeth you may be re-infecting him. You should ALL be on the program!

Also make sure you clean his toothbrush in a drop of Listerine, rinse out and dry between use. Keep it separate from the rest of the family. Whatever germs that caused the cavities came from somewhere in the family. You have to wipe them out.

If you continue to use xylitol you will eventually heal these teeth and also establish a healthy mouth environment that will resist re-infection.

Good luck I think you need to pay a little more attention to each of these steps!

Let me know if you have any more questions,
26 Corporate Woods
Rochester, NY 14623
(585) 272-1270

Categories: Uncategorized


  • Have you investigated the GI effects of consuming these amounts of Xylitol? And do you have any studies you can refer me to?thanks,Jini

  • Dr. Ellie says:

    Here is a link to a variety of xylitol studies with young children and one particular study where very young children were given xylitol syrup three to five times a day: Milgrom; Kiet A. Ly; Ohnmar K. Tut; Lloyd Mancl; Marilyn C. Roberts; Kennar Briand; Mary Jane GancioXylitol Pediatric Topical Oral Syrup to Prevent Dental Caries: A Double-blind Randomized Clinical Trial of EfficacyArch Pediatr Adolesc Med, Jul 2009; 163: 601 – 607. The study showed a high compliance to the syrup administration. Children tolerated thedaily dose of 6 to 10 g and experienced few and minor adverse effects of laxation. This is inagreement with a recent study finding that xylitol solutions at daily doses of 5 to 7.5 g were well tolerated bytoddlers aged 6 to 36 months.The literature on infant and toddler foods and on taste preference suggests that infants have an innate predilection for sweet taste.You may also find lots of information about xylitol for young children on http://www.Spiffies.comBest Wishes,Ellie http://www.zellies.com26 Corporate WoodsRochester, NY 14623(585) 272-1270

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