Category Archives for Ultimate Oral Health

Have Healthier Teeth & Gums by Following These 5 Wellness Points!

Wishing for a healthier mouth in 2017? Want to put an end to gum disease, cavities, and other oral health issues? Take control of your own oral health. You can achieve Ultimate Oral Health this year by understanding these 5 Oral Wellness Points.

5 Oral Wellness Points

  1. Bacteria Transfer
  2. Eating Causes Acidity
  3. Saliva is Your Best Friend
  4. The Mouth’s Nightmare
  5. Mouth Health  Body Health

Bacteria Transfer
Mouth bacteria are both good and bad. There are substantially more good ones than bad, but the bad ones cause big problems like cavities and gum disease – so they are not welcome visitors in our mouths. These bacteria – good or bad – do not just stay on teeth, they can travel and reach places like our toothbrush bristles. This is why it is vital to clean your toothbrush as often as possible – ideally every day. Also get a new brush as often as possible, especially if you have cavities or are fighting gum disease.

The great news for families and friends is that when your mouth is healthy – you will be sharing healthy bacteria with the people you love. Early childhood is a time when the mouth bacterial composition is designed, and the input from family is very important in this process. Parents can clean their mouth health and feed good bacteria by consuming small amounts of xylitol at the end of every meal. Baby teeth can also be cleaned with a small amount of xylitol, rubbed or wiped over teeth.

Eating Causes Acidity
Every time we eat we can almost assume that acids are generated in our mouths. There are a few exemptions to this, but most foods contain natural or added sugars, carbohydrates or some form of acid. Organic, healthy foods can be as damaging as processed foods for teeth. Green smoothies often rate as some of the most damaging for teeth since kale and spinach contain oxalic acids which can destroy tooth enamel.

Acidity pulls minerals from teeth and also promotes the growth of unhealthy mouth bacteria. The longer the mouth remains acidic, the more damage is caused. Waiting for an hour before cleaning your teeth is allowing damage for too long each day. Eating a little xylitol mint or piece of pure xylitol gum after every meal, snack or drink will take away mouth acidity and also help to mineralize teeth and repair any defects.

[Read more about acidity and your teeth]

Saliva is Your Best Friend
Today there are a number of expensive “re-mineralizing” pastes and gels sold to repair soft, weak or sensitive teeth. Your own saliva contains the ideal mix of minerals and is far better than these artificial products for this job of mineralizing teeth. The problem is that minerals will only go into teeth when the mouth is at a specific and alkaline pH of around 7.4. Fortunately xylitol generates a flow of alkaline saliva in most mouths to bring it to this pH.

When saliva interacts with the surface of teeth, it will help the teeth to harden and become smoother and stronger. It’s important to give your teeth enough time to interact with saliva. Constant snacking and sipping is detrimental to this process and is the reason many people experience sensitive teeth. Saliva quality varies throughout the day and mid afternoon is the ideal time to stop eating and drinking and allow your teeth time to interact with your own natural saliva.

The Mouth’s Nightmare
The most difficult time for our mouth health is while we are sleeping. The mouth automatically becomes drier and our saliva more acidic – two conditions that wreck havoc on our teeth and gums. This is why it is so important to prepare our teeth before we go to sleep, helping them to overcome the difficulties of the hours while we are asleep. It’s no use thinking that you can clean your teeth in the morning and make up for ignoring them at night: it just doesn’t work that way.

It’s vital to clean and protect your teeth before going to sleep each night. Many products today are too acidic for mouth health, especially all the products made to whiten or control plaque in the mouth. Many toothpastes are equally poorly designed for the care that teeth need during the night.

My Complete Mouth Care System was designed specifically to care for teeth and protect them during the night. In fact, it does its job so well, your teeth may be stronger, shinier and look better in the morning than they did when you went to bed!

[Download my free “how to” guide for my Complete Mouth Care System]

Mouth Health  Body Health
Many studies point to various connections between mouth and body health. Body health also affects mouth health in a number of ways. Diet and good nutrition is vital if you are trying to correct a problem in your mouth, and I often talk with clients about their digestive health and the need to consider a good vitamin and mineral supplement in addition to a good digestive probiotic supplement.

The ideal time to develop mouth health is during the early years of childhood. In many countries xylitol is given to preschool children as xylitol candies during the school day. This has been a public health measure in Finland for about 50 years to prevent cavities, and prepare the mouths of children before the eruption of adult teeth. Healthy adult teeth require less treatment, no sealants and less maintenance care. Healthy teeth and gums will promote better general health and hopefully allow us all to live longer, healthier lives.

Tooth Truth about Cranberry Juice and Green Tea

Are Cranberry Juice and Green Tea good for Teeth?

Green tea

At the end of this post you will find some research and a list of benefits attributed to cranberry juice and green tea. It’s easy to imagine drinking cranberry juice or green tea will be good for oral health, but before you begin, consider the effect of beverages (healthy or unhealthy) on saliva and its ability to repair and strengthen teeth.

Saliva Repairs Teeth

Strong teeth are packed with minerals, but these minerals leach out as we eat or drink. Fortunately saliva protects teeth from weakness, because it has the ability to immediately replace any minerals that have been drawn out from the enamel. Saliva is a super-concentrated solution of the minerals needed to rebuild teeth. These minerals diffuse into the tooth as soon as they reach its surface and travel through to repair any weak areas. This process takes about 20-30 minutes to complete, and it can only occur in alkaline conditions and where there is an adequate flow of healthy saliva (which is why acidic and dry mouths are problematic for oral health).

Sipping Beverages

Sipping beverages causes disruption of this natural healing process and this is why drinks (especially acidic ones) are a problem for teeth. Before saliva has been given time to replace minerals lost from the first sip, another attack causes additional damage. Even water dilutes saliva and interferes with this natural repair process, no matter the pH of the water or it’s mineral content (since it cannot duplicate the super-saturated minerals in saliva). For oral health, keep drinks to meal times and give your teeth time to interact with saliva as often as possible – especially in the afternoon, when it’s at premium quality.

Biofilm is your Friend

When you read the attributes of green tea and cranberries, it’s important to know the difference between healthy and infected biofilms. Healthy biofilm is a covering that naturally protects tooth enamel from abrasion, chemical, and thermal damage. Mouth conditions influence the kind of bacteria in biofilm, and acidic conditions promote acid-loving bacteria like Strep.mutans. Infection by Strep. mutans grows biofilm into a thick layer known as plaque, and this acid-producing film is responsible for gum and tooth damage.  For mouth health we need to promote a healthy biofilm, not work to eradicate it. Perhaps the best way is to keep acidic foods and drinks (including healthy juices and teas) to meal times, and finish each meal or snack with xylitol to alkalize the mouth. This habit prevents exposure to acidity and promotes a healthy biofilm. Xylitol feeds healthy probiotic bacteria, encourages a flow of saliva, and makes harmful plaque slippery and less acidic.

Now Read the Studies

When you read the studies, you will see that cranberry juice and green tea can help remove biofilm. This may help reduce the burden in an infected mouth, but it does not translate into oral health. Cranberries may have uses, but not as a cranberry rinse, where its acidity could cause serious erosion. Remember teeth devoid of biofilm can be sensitive, weak, and experience recession and cavities. In the green tea studies you may read of a large group of men who had benefits from drinking green tea. It would be interesting to know if women experience the same results, or do they develop sensitivity and recession? My hunch is there are differences in saliva quality and we need to give more gender-specific recommendations.

So enjoy cranberries and green tea, but try to keep drinks to mealtimes whenever possible, and always protect teeth with Zellie’s mints and gum!

Cranberries (some general facts)

  • Cranberries are rich in antioxidants particularly proanthocyanidins, which is the compound that gives them a red color.
  • Cranberry pigments can inhibit biofilm and have been reported to have antimicrobial, anti-adhesion, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Cranberry juice is often sweetened with other juices as a juice cocktail

Cranberries (some study facts)

Green tea: (some general facts)

  • Contains natural chemicals believed to offer health benefits, and has the highest concentration of catechins found in any natural food.
  • Provides a source of antioxidants (including epigallocatechin 3 gallate- known as EGCG), which may help fight inflammation, especially the kind produced by cigarette smoking.
  • Has a number of useful enzymes, amino acids, lipids, sterols, and minerals.
  • Differs from other black teas because its leaves are minimally oxidized
  • Quality varies dramatically with growing conditions and its beneficial phyto-chemicals are also affected by these factors.
  • Should not be brewed with boiling water, since high temperatures disable catechins, and 160-degree water is suggested.
  • Adding lemon may make the health compounds easier to absorb
  • Although some say that dairy should not be added, it appears that any protein-catechin complexes are re-activated during digestion, so this is disproven.
  • Green teas (particularly powdered green tea) can be a source of considerable fluoride. Here are three links to explore this subject:

o   http://fluoridealert.org/studies/tea02

o   http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2005/02/09/fluoride-tea.aspx

o   http://www.drweil.com/drw/u/id/QAA22857

Green tea: (some study facts)

  • Most studies have been on animals, which is why reports state its benefits are unproven.
  • A 2008 study in the journal of the Academy of General Dentistry suggests to avoid tooth erosion people should drink brewed tea. The study compared teas with juice and soda, and concluded there was less enamel loss with tea.
  • Green tea may help remove biofilm from teeth and may be associated with decreased odds for tooth loss. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22226360
  • A 2009 a study in the Journal of Periodontology examined 940 males, aged 49-59 and found less gum disease in men who drank green tea, and the benefits increased with the amount of tea consumed. http://www.perio.org/consumer/green-tea

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Want to learn more about oral health? Click here to sign-up for our monthly e-guide!

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Download our latest guidebooks for Ultimate Oral Health:

Zellies Xylitol Booklet Cover     Zellies CMCS Booklet

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For more information on oral health and xylitol, please visit all of Dr. Ellie’s web-sites:


Zellies.com – learn more & order Zellies Xylitol Mints, Gum and Candies
Dr. Ellie.com – a great resource for learning more about oral health & Dr. Ellie
Dr. E Oral Health Coaching – articles, resources and videos to help you learn more

Join the conversation online on the Zellies Facebook page!

Global Dental Health

A number of my friends are dental missionaries and visit countries where problems from dental disease are intense. They see adults with many lost teeth and visible tooth damage that can be overwhelming. These dentists provide emergency extractions and care, but wish they could offer long-term help. Some take toothbrushes while others teach nurses to apply fluoride varnish. Any concept must be simple and sustainable since complicated or costly programs will not continue after the team leaves. All this effort is admirable, but we have a gigantic problem, and need ideas that will work for every community around the globe.

American Teeth

Awful statistics that tell us that here the U.S., there is an epidemic of decay in preschool children and 90% of older adults have decayed, missing, or filled teeth. Of course we usually don’t see these problems because they are masked by skillful dentistry. Imagine if we took off the veneers, crowns, fillings, bridges, implants and dentures. We would be shocked by the horrific damage this progressive disease can cause in sixty years. This is not just a problem for distant countries, but something we must all consider. I believe 5 simple steps can help children grow up cavity free, anywhere on the globe.

No More Cavities

This preventive strategy is split into 3 categories. Each will make a difference, but when used in harmony will give greater results.  The concept is to prevent initial transmission of infection, promote healthy bacteria to protect teeth, and apply topical fluoride to strengthen new erupting adult teeth.

Prevent transmission:

1) Prevent mother-child transfer of cavity bacteria

2) Limit infection from toothbrushes or promote other methods of care

Promote healthy bacteria with xylitol:

3) As teeth erupt

4) During preschool years

Apply fluoride varnish:

5) On erupting permanent molars

 

1. Prevent Mother-Child Transfer of Cavity Bacteria

Regular use of xylitol reduces harmful bacteria and cultivates healthier ones in the mouth. Mothers are usually the carriers of dental infection that transfers from their mouth to their baby’s teeth. Studies show that mothers who consume 5 grams of xylitol daily, during the first years of their baby’s life (as baby teeth erupt) will reduce the chance of decay in their child’s teeth by 80%.

2. Limit infection from toothbrushes by promoting other methods of care

Toothbrushes are infected by a single use, and dirty toothbrushes spread infection. Brushing adult teeth can improve gum health, but not if brushes are infected. Let’s promote brush hygiene and, when appropriate, consider locally available tools, like chew sticks. The Miswak is recognized in many parts of the world as an effective tooth-cleaning device. This chew stick contains fluoride, silica, and resins to help teeth. A chew stick can massage gums and be discarded, or the end of the stick cut off to prevent re-infection at the next use.

3. Promote healthy bacteria as teeth erupt – with xylitol

A pound of xylitol is relatively inexpensive and these granules can be dissolved in water to wipe on erupting baby teeth. Studies show this can lower decay by 90%. This form of prevention is most effective before baby molars erupt (at 18 months). Xylitol promotes good bacteria in molar grooves, where they become reservoirs of bacteria to dominate the mouth. Children with healthy baby molars are more likely to have healthy adult molars.

4. Promote healthy bacteria during preschool years – with xylitol

Regular use of xylitol will help promote healthy bacteria in a child’s mouth. As children eat xylitol candies, like Zellie’s Polar Bears, they ensure their mouths have healthy bacteria before adult teeth erupt during Kindergarten years.

5. Apply fluoride varnish on erupting permanent molars 

Fluoride is last on this list because it has no power to adjust or promote healthy bacteria. Topical fluoride can, however, help strengthen enamel. Even healthy adult molars are soft as they erupt, and at risk for cavities. To give protection, a coat of fluoride varnish will encourage minerals to harden new molar teeth.

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Want to learn more about oral health? Click here to sign-up for our monthly e-guide!

——

Download our latest guidebooks for Ultimate Oral Health:

Zellies Xylitol Booklet Cover     Zellies CMCS Booklet

——

For more information on oral health and xylitol, please visit all of Dr. Ellie’s web-sites:


Zellies.com – learn more & order Zellies Xylitol Mints, Gum and Candies
Dr. Ellie.com – a great resource for learning more about oral health & Dr. Ellie
Dr. E Oral Health Coaching – articles, resources and videos to help you learn more

Join the conversation online on the Zellies Facebook page!

Want a Whole New Mouth?

Kiss Your Dentist GoodbyeHave you read Dr. Ellie’s book “Kiss Your Dentist Goodbye” yet?

In “Kiss Your Dentist Goodbye, Dr. Ellie Phillips teaches how anyone can achieve and maintain a truly healthy mouth. Empower yourself as you improve the look and feel of your teeth between dental visits. Your dentist will be amazed at the changes they see, and you will be thrilled as cavities and gum disease become a thing of the past.

One of the most recent reviews of her book on Amazon.com caught our attention and we thought we’d share it:

5.0 out of 5 stars 
Forget the Cutesy Title. Your Mouth Will Thank You. 
August 3, 2013
By  L. Hoag (Los Angeles, CA USA) 
 
This review is from: Kiss Your Dentist Goodbye: A Do-It-Yourself Mouth Care System for Healthy, Clean Gums and Teeth (Paperback)

OK, OK. I never thought I’d recommend a book on dental hygiene, but this one saved me big bucks. Three months ago, my dentist told me I’d probably need to see a specialist for gum surgery. I was not convinced and went looking for other options. The author (who is a dentist) suggested an easy, cheap and pleasant regime of brushing and three types of mouthwash. Two weeks ago I revisited my own dentist who said, “I can’t believe it! It’s like you have a whole new mouth!” As with any type of self help book, use your common sense. However, this one really worked for me.

Wondering if the book is worth reading? Check out the other 67 reviews currently posted on Amazon (click HERE to see the reviews).

Here’s to a whole new mouth!

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Want to learn more about oral health? Click here to sign-up for our monthly e-guide!

——

Download our latest guidebooks for Ultimate Oral Health:

Zellies Xylitol Booklet CoverZellies CMCS Booklet

——

For more information on oral health and xylitol, please visit all of Dr. Ellie’s web-sites:


Zellies.com – learn more & order your Zellies Xylitol & the Complete Mouth Care System
Dr. Ellie.com – a great resource for learning more about oral health & Dr. Ellie
Dr. E Oral Health Coaching – articles, resources and videos to help you learn more

Join the conversation online on the Zellies Facebook page!

Ugh! Your Dentist Says You Have a New Cavity!

Ugh! Your Dentist Says You Have a New Cavity!Decay never targets one tooth. Cavity-forming germs live all over the mouth and even in saliva. If you have recently had a cavity, or been told you have one, it means cavity-forming germs are attacking every surface of every tooth, all day, every day (and particularly at night). These germs do not go away by themselves and worse yet, you can kiss them to others – especially to babies and kids in your family.

The really bad news is that a “filling” does nothing to get rid of these germs. In fact, they will attack the new filling, and probably erode its edges within a couple of years (this is called recurrent caries by your dentist).

Fight Back

If you want to stop a cavity or reverse one, you must do more than brush and floss. You need to:

  1. Eradicate cavity-forming germs
  2. Eat and drink well
  3. Protect your teeth from acidity
  4. Use products that strengthen enamel
  5. Help teeth re-build themselves
  6. Use an oral care system that makes teeth more acid-resistant
  7. Know what may put you at greater risk

1. Eradicate Cavity Germs

The only way to naturally eradicate cavity-forming germs is with xylitol. You only need 1-2 teaspoons a day (in small doses), but you need xylitol at opportune times –when cavity bacteria multiply. Mouth germs flourish after meals or when your mouth is dry or acidic. Xylitol can eradicate 92% of cavity-forming germs in an effective, progressive way.

2. Eat and Drink Well

I focus a lot on the fact that teeth need correct care and protection, but it’s also important to remember diet is important. Try to limit your total intake of sugary foods and drinks. I suggest keeping drinks to meal times as much as possible and avoid sipping on drinks for extended period of time. Select snacks that are tooth friendly, like cheese, nuts, or vegetables. You will feel better on a healthier diet, and some people benefit from additional whole-food vitamin supplements and digestive probiotics for a few months – at least as they begin or change to healthier life habits!

3. Protect Teeth from Acidity

Acidity weakens teeth by dissolving minerals out of them. This process is usually at its peak after eating, snacking, or after drinks that are acidic or contain sugar.  When teeth are sufficiently damaged, they will crumble into holes – known as cavities. The simplest way to protect teeth from acidic damage is to eat Zellies Mints or Gum after every meal, snack, or drink.

4. Use Products that Strengthen Teeth

It is possible to naturally repair a tooth. Minerals are easily eroded out of a tooth, but there is also a way for them to be replaced back again. Re-mineralization is the name for the “putting back of minerals” into a tooth. The sooner you begin to re-mineralize a cavity, the quicker it will reverse. If a cavity is ignored it becomes more difficult to stop, because bacteria travel deeper into the tooth. Xylitol and the correct use of fluoride can strengthen and re-mineralize teeth.

5. Help Teeth Re-build Themselves

Saliva in a healthy mouth is super-saturated with the exact minerals necessary to repair teeth. It’s good to let teeth interact with saliva, but the quality of our saliva varies. Saliva is diluted when you sip liquids and stress, hormones, pregnancy, medications and a variety of health problems affect its mineral content. Saliva is least helpful when we are sleeping at night, and is at its maximum capability to mineralize teeth in the afternoon. Try eating a healthy lunch, followed by some Zellies, and then give your teeth a few hours when you do not eat or drink during the afternoon.

6. Use an Oral Care System that makes Teeth More Acid-Resistant

Certain products can speed up the transfer of minerals from saliva to enamel. Used in a specific way, these products can help the new enamel become stronger and more resistant to acidic damage. We recommend Zellies and the Complete Mouth Care System.

7. Know What May Put You at Greater Risk

Some people have a dry mouth or saliva problems – often damage from radiation, mediations, chemotherapy, or disease. These people have no saliva to protect or repair their teeth. It is crazy to think that in the past doctors recommended people with a dry mouth suck lemon candies – which would be the worst thing for their teeth! Xylitol can greatly help a dry mouth and research shows that eating xylitol mints can reduce the risk of tooth decay by 40%.

Zellies are important for oral health – because they help in so many ways:

  1. Xylitol eliminates cavity-forming bacteria
  2. Xylitol helps protect teeth from acidic damage (especially when used after meals and drinks or when your mouth is dry)
  3. Xylitol helps re-build enamel and works in harmony with fluoride to strengthen and re-mineralize teeth
  4. Xylitol stimulates healthy saliva
  5. Xylitol is protective help for a dry mouth
  6. Xylitol makes it easier to clean teeth by loosening plaque

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Want to learn more about oral health? Click here to sign-up for our monthly e-guide!

——

Download our latest guidebooks for Ultimate Oral Health:

Zellies Xylitol Booklet CoverZellies CMCS Booklet

——

For more information on oral health and xylitol, please visit all of Dr. Ellie’s web-sites:


Zellies.com – learn more & order your Zellies Xylitol & the Complete Mouth Care System
Dr. Ellie.com – a great resource for learning more about oral health & Dr. Ellie
Dr. E Oral Health Coaching – articles, resources and videos to help you learn more

Join the conversation online on the Zellies Facebook page!

Q&A with Dr. Ellie: Looking for Data

Q&A Bubbles
Every month Dr. Ellie Phillips will answer your oral health questions as part of the Ultimate Oral Health Guide.
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Q:

Hello Dr. Phillips,

I’ve purchased the parts to your Complete Mouth Care System and have presented the program to my husband.  He is interested in what type of data you have assembled to support the use of your system.  Do you have actual data – control and experimental groups, etc?  

Sincerely, S.C

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A:

Hi S. C,

The answer to your question is in my book Kiss Your Dentist Goodbye. In the book I describe how I became interested in finding a way to control dental disease. The book describes the science of cavities and gum disease and explains why people have dental problems. Cavities and gum disease don’t suddenly or mysteriously “happen”. It’s not natural for teeth to weaken, darken, die, or fall out. There are specific risk factors that make it more likely for people to develop cavities or gum disease, and there are ways to minimize, stop, and even reverse this damage, before it ruins your oral health.

Once you understand how risk factors impact teeth, you understand why the biochemistry of my system works. I discovered the effectiveness of this routine inContinue reading

Dental Sealants for Kids

What is a dental sealant?

A dental sealant is a thin plastic used to cover cracks (fissures) that naturally occur in chewing surfaces of molar teeth. The idea is to protect teeth from decay, since cavities almost always start in these grooves. Sealants were developed in the 1960s and by 1970 they were “grandfathered” into use by the FDA.

The idea is that when tooth grooves are blocked, bacteria in them will be cut off from dietary sugars and be unable to cause decay. The first molars erupt into a child’s mouth about 6 years old, and the second molars about age 12. Sealants are usually applied as soon as teeth erupt, before they have a chance to decay.

Applying a sealant is quick and easy, and it sounds like a good idea. There are, however, problems with sealants, the most important being that they do not deal with the disease that causes cavities.Continue reading

Say Goodbye to Bad Breath!

Bad Breath Problems

Bad breath can silently damage a career, especially if your work puts you in close contact with the public, other employees, or your boss. Bad breath can also be the kiss of death to a romantic relationship, but who is going to tell you?

Bad breath may be an embarrassing and damaging inconvenience, but it is really a signal that you have an unhealthy mouth and potentially other health issues. Dental books state that 20 % of the population suffers from bad breath “halitosis” and that this should not be confused with coffee breath or smells from garlic-laden foods.

Halitosis odor comes from a group of smelly bacteria that grow on the back and top part of your tongue. Today there are devices to sample a patient’s breath with a chemical sensor or a syringe that captures air from inside the mouth.

What Causes Bad Breath?

Most people accept “morning breath” as a normal condition, but it is totally avoidable. During the night, we have less saliva, which leaves the mouth easily colonized (taken over) by harmful bacteria. Smoking, medications, and sleeping with your mouth open, can make your mouth drier, and acid reflux promotes very damaging conditions. It is essential to prepare your mouth last thing at night, to lessen the danger while you sleep. Eating or drinking in bed is inviting a problem, and if you need medications – try to take them before cleaning your teeth at night.

Continue reading

A Birthday Wish

The first birthday celebrates the most important time in the entire life of your teeth. By a child’s first birthday, front incisor teeth provide a surface for plaque germs to grow and multiply. As baby molars erupt in the second year of life, grooves in their biting surfaces quickly become infected with the resident mouth germs. Studies show that if healthy germs enter these grooves, they multiply there and dominate the mouth, protecting teeth from decay. On the other hand, if harmful germs get into these grooves, they can cause cavities, first in baby teeth and later in the adult teeth. Pediatric studies show that children with healthy teeth at 4 years old are 80 percent more likely to have good teeth for life.

Continue reading

What To Do If Your Child Has Early Childhood Caries (ECC)

Bad cavities can happen to healthy families. Most of the people I consult with are shocked to discover their toddler has cavities. They are stunned and confused, since they have healthy diets, breast-feed their babies, and subscribe to natural medicines and organic lifestyles.

The myth that must be broken is that flossing and brushing will stop cavities. Even if it were possible to brush and floss perfectly, only 40 percent of plaque can be removed by mechanical cleaning. No toothbrush bristle can clean the tiny grooves of molar teeth – which are the most vulnerable areas for cavities and the place bacteria lodge and colonize. In fact, studies show that the kind of bacteria in these molar grooves, usually dominates the mouth’s ecology. If healthy bacteria set up “home” in the molar grooves, healthy bacteria will likely protect the mouth for years, possibly for life.

For an infant or toddler with cavities, I recommend frequent applications of small amounts of xylitol, wiped or brushed onto teeth during the day, to rid the mouth of harmful bacteria and promote healthy ones. Morning and night, moisten a soft toothbrush with one drop of bubblegum ACT rinse and brush the affected teeth with this. The benefit of combining a little fluoride with some xylitol has been shown to speed healing and repair enamel. A children’s Nimbus brush is very soft and is excellent for this purpose. For an older child, or if cavities are more severe, a rice-grain amount of Crest Original toothpaste can be brushed or wiped over affected teeth to speed enamel healing.Continue reading