I wish I’d heard about you 6 months ago!

Dear Dr. Ellie,

I wish SO BADLY that I’d heard about you and your products six months ago, I am nearly in tears. I have been reading through the questions from breastfeeding mothers unfortunately I have the same problem. I nurse my son to sleep and night nurse on demand, less frequently now that he is eating more solid food. I noticed about 4 months ago that my son (then 13 months old) had some white spots and staining on his upper teeth. I tried brushing more thoroughly, but it only got worse and he got less cooperative with letting me brush. I called a pediatric dentist two months ago and they were only able to give me an appointment today. He is 17 months old and the dentist says he has cavities. I am devastated. They want to put him under G.A. to fix them and the dentist said he will take a full set of x-rays once he is asleep so they can determine how bad the cavities are.

I read that it may be possible for the ACT/xylitol combo treatments to heal minor cavities. What would you label a minor cavity? Is it possible to get an x-ray taken of a baby without G.A.? I am so worried and hope that I can avoid the G.A. procedure if at all possible.

I also have a question about what you said regarding the bacteria in our mouths that cause tooth decay. You said that in 6 months of regular use, xylitol can completely rid a mouth of bad bacteria. What if that mouth comes in contact with more bacteria from another source, i.e. kissing, sharing food, etc.? Does the bad bacteria take hold again?

Thank you for taking the time to read my letter, Dr. Ellie. Again, I wish I had heard of you months ago. I could have saved my son so much trouble.

Best wishes,

Hi M,

I realize by now you will have had a dentist visit and may already have made decisions. Sorry to have taken so long to reply. I sometimes have a long list of messages and I do my best to keep up!

I assume you have discussed the possibility of trying to remineralize these teeth with your dentist. I will try to answer your other question about “reinfection” with bacteria.

The mouth, like the gut will never be perfectly “clean.” In the early days of penicillin people unknowingly wiped out ALL their gut bacteria then suffered overgrowth of yeasts and harmful bacteria. Healthy gut bacteria protect us from intruder bacteria and also help absorb minerals from foods etc.

Teeth need a healthy film over their surface. Once this healthy film is established it will protect teeth and keep them strong. The problem is that this film may be removed during antibiotic treatments, by using harsh cleaners like baking soda, bleaching gels or strips. A “cleaning” at the dentist may also remove this healthy film.

Without protection, teeth are exposed and may pick up new bacteria. So don’t kiss people after a “cleaning” at the dentist! Consider bleaching treatments carefully and don’t be surprised if your teeth feel sensitive to temperature and foods. (This film is also protection against temperature and harm from foods).

With a healthy film in place re-infection is less likely. How long does it take to develop a healthy protective film?

This depends on many factors, including mouth acidity, foods and drinks you eat ( if you drink a lot of acidic drinks this will work against you) and the amount of healthy fermented /probiotic food you eat. Probiotics are often prescribed to repopulate the gut after a course of antibiotics and they may also help the mouth.

Xylitol is a little different from a pro-biotic, but the outcome is the same. Xylitol will slowly rid your mouth of harmful bacteria and allow healthy ones to take their place. It appears that two years of regular use of xylitol will establish a healthy film, providing it is not disrupted by the things I mention above. If you have an acidic mouth, or want “insurance” against infection, five exposures to xylitol will help KEEP your mouth healthy.

In the case of a child, it is important to try and alter bacteria in their mouth before “molar” teeth erupt. Bacteria lodge in the grooves of biting teeth and whatever kind of bacteria are in these grooves dominate the mouth. (imagine molar grooves as “fountains” of bacteria good or bad).

So, it is important to establish healthy mouth bacteria before the eruption of new molar teeth.
If your son already has his baby molars at least you will be in time for his adult molar teeth.

I hope this answers your question,
Best Wishes,


26 Corporate Woods
Rochester, NY 14623

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