Citric Acid and Teeth

Hello Dr. Ellie,

Thank you so much for cutting through all of the extraneous information out there and getting to the heart of what needs to happen for maintaining a healthy mouth.

We just ordered Spiffies for our 3 month old. I looked at the ingredients and noticed Spiffies contains citric acid. This surprised me because I know you talk about citric acid dangers both in your book and on your blog.

Can you clarify why you think Spiffies is safe given it contains citric acid?



Hi R,

It appears that Spiffies work well – a new study just came out showing that infants using Spiffies did not get cavities. I suggest that if you like – it is also good to use granular xylitol dissolved in water – or eat the crystals off a spoon, in stead of or in addition to, cleaning teeth with Spiffies.

My comments about this study are that using Spiffies does not offer anything close to the dosage of xylitol needed to eradicate cavity causing bacteria. Despite this fact, using Spiffies was found to be very helpful.

You can certainly make your own wipe with xylitol and keep Spiffies as an adjunct for days when you don’t have time or are traveling.

Dr. Ellie Phillips

Categories: Uncategorized


  • Scarlet says:

    I found Xyla candies at a local store and my kids really like them but I noticed they also contain citric acid. Should we discontinue using them?

    • I have always tried to be gracious and avoid saying anything negative about competitive xylitol products. On the other hand, I think there are now a number of xylitol “candies and lollypops” that should be seen as “healthier candies” but not be used to reverse cavities or improve oral health. I have consulted with parents of children who ate “xylitol” candies yet continued to have damaged teeth. In two cases the xylitol product contained citric acid (lemon) and another was a product contained sorbitol and artificial sweeteners. If you love citrus, enjoy “xylitol candies” from time to time, but use products made from 100% pure xylitol (like Zellies) as the backbone of your oral health regimen and to protect your teeth.

  • Scarlet says:

    Ok thanks, I figured that was the case.

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