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Zellies and Teeth

Posted Apr 14 2012 8:34pm
Hi Dr. Ellie,

My 7 year old son does not have any molars yet. He sees his dentist every 6 months and has never had a cavity. He doesn't need the ACT rinse yet, does he? From what I gather from your blog he won\'t need the ACT until his molars come in?

On the other hand his sister, who\'s 8, had a cavity to my surprise this past year. I wish I had known that it was possible to heal a small cavity, but we had it filled because that was what the doctor suggested. This daughter sleeps with her mouth open and has bad breath. I\'ve started her using the Listerine in conjuntion with the ACT and all children will be on xyltol when it arrives. Even though she\'s 8 I thought with her history that the Listerine would that correct?


Hi S,

Thanks for your message. You are correct that the priority for a 7 year old without permanent molars yet is xylitol in adequate amounts. In Scandinavia they start xylitol in Preschool - ensuring the kids' mouths are "ready" for the eruption of new molars. 7 is quite late for these molars that often erupt during Kindergarten ages.

The first bacteria to get into the biting surface grooves of molars - become the dominant bacteria of the mouth. Ensuring that the mouth bacteria are healthy BEFORE the eruption of molars is the best way to achieve this ( and it usually takes 6 months of 5-10 grams per day to make the oral bacteria truly healthy).

Fluoride comes into play when we need to stimulate the formation of the Pellicle layer over new molar teeth. It usually takes about a year for Pellicle to form, but in conjunction with ACT dilute fluoride, xylitol and good diet - you can often get this protective layer to form in less than half that time.

Remember that cheeses and organic dairy are perfect endings to meals and make great snacks for teeth.
Limit juices and anything acidic to during a meal - and end the meal with a tooth-protective food or xylitol.

When anyone mentions bad breath - I suggest looking for some kind of bacterial transfer - xylitol will be very helpful. Check toothbrushes are clean every day - that they dry completely between uses, and are stored at least 10 feet from any toilet area.

Hope this helps,


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