Children’s Teeth

Hi Dr. Ellie,

A friend of mine told me about the benefits of Xylitol and while doing further research on Google, I came across your blog and was hoping you can provide some guidance with regards to my 4 1/2 yr old daughter’s teeth.

During her check up in April, we discovered that she had several cavities, some needed to be filled immediately, and some were being “watched”.. A few weeks ago, she complained about her mouth hurting and turns out there is now an abscess. this tooth is on the lower right, second from the back. I was told that the tooth needed to be extracted and a cavity on the last back molar needed to be filled. I was determined to safe her natural tooth if at all possible, so i consulted 2 more dentists and one of them said a pulpotomy was possible. she had her procedure this morning and it turned out that she had to have 2 root canals because the cavity on the back molar was right on the pulp. Both teeth needed no crowns as there were enough teeth structure to hold a filling. Any suggestions on how i can prevent the abscess tooth from being infected again?

Anyways, she still has several cavities on her other tooth and the dr. suggested that they be filled ASAP, in order to avoid more root canals. I’m, of course hesitant to do this as each visit is so traumatizing for her. Do you think that her situation can be improved if I incorporate 6grams of xylitol into her daily routine, in addition to brushing twice a day? Since she is 41/2, do you think i can incorporate ACT rinse?

Also, I don’t think it will be possible to cut all sweet treats from her diet; do you think getting candies with xylitol is a good alternative?

Both my husband and myself do not have great teeth (especially my husband, who apparently had 15 cavities when he was 4) so i’m determined to help my daughter anyway I can…We will definitely be trying your system, and any advise you can give me on my daughter’s situation would be greatly appreciated.

I’m looking forward to hearing from you soon.


Hi Tina,

I am sorry that it has taken me a while to reply. It’s important to think of cavities as a disease – as an infection.

This infection spreads from person to person as you kiss them or share food with them.

We all worry about “catching the flu or colds” when we hang out with friends and family – Few people worry about “catching cavities” – but they should!

You and your husband must be diligent to clean your mouths – and work alongside your daughter.

This needs to be a family decision – and what have you got to loose? Except cavities! Get granular xylitol – a one pound bag will cost about $8.00 and be enough for the three of you for a month.

Every morning put a teaspoon of xylitol into a cup, bottle or glass of water.

Sip this through the morning.You can do some extra xylitol with mints and gum after lunch and dinner – but this way you will get enough to get rid of the infection.

I suggest you get Crest Cavity Protection toothpaste and that all of you use this.

You only need a drop of paste – the size of a rice grain – on your brushes. Make sure you clean your brushes in Listerine rinse.

Swish the brushes in this, rinse the Listerine off under running water and let your brushes dry completely before you use them again.

Brush your teeth before bed and again in the morning. Do not eat or drink after brushing at night. If you need to – put some xylitol in water and sip this

Your daughter can start learning how to use a fluoride rinse.

Put a drop of ACT into a cup of water. Help your daughter learn to swish and spit.

Most kids get the idea of rinsing after a few weeks. As your daughter gets good at rinsing – you can add more of the ACT to the water. In a little while your daughter may be ready to rinse with full strength ACT.

Make sure she spits out well – I suggest three big spits – to get all the residue away. Kids usually like doing this!

The combination of xylitol and ACT will give her a lot of help – but I cannot tell you that it will reverse her problems completely.

I can tell you that this work now – will protect your daughter’s new adult teeth as they erupt next year. By taking these steps now you can help her enjoy an ongoing future of healthy teeth – but you MUST do this NOW!!

Best Wishes,


Ellie Phillips DDS
Solutions for Oral Health!
author, Kiss Your Dentist Goodbye

Categories: Uncategorized


  • Anonymous says:

    Dr. Ellie: thank you so much for this wonderful site and all of the helpful information. We live in Canada, and we recently made a day trip to the US to buy CloSYS and ACT. Unfortunately, we bought some of the ACT "Restore" rinse by mistake (which we'll be pouring down the drain, having reviewed your advise again.) The only other kind that we could find was ACT alcohol-free anticavity fluoride rinse, but it is also labeled "Total Care." Now we're worried that this kind won't work either, but we're hoping that you might confirm. The other thing that makes us think that we got the wrong kind of ACT is that the "Total Care" active ingredient is listed as sodium flouride at 0.02% (0.009% w/v fluoride ion); I think that elsewhere on your blog you mention that ACT original is 0.05%….anyhow, if you can enlighten us, that would be wonderful.

  • Dr. Ellie says:

    In my opinion the regular ACT works better – check the pictures on my website and also on my website where we have drawings and close up pictures to help you.The rinses you purchased are probably not damaging – but try to find the ACT Anticavity rinse – not Total Care and not Restore. It is often the hardest to find.Meg do you have an e-mail to ask them:Send me a personal e-mail at and I will try to help you.Ellie

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