WHAT IS XYLITOL?
Xylitol is a natural sugar alcohol found in some fruits and vegetables. It is also produced in a small amount by our bodies. Xylitol has been shown by many studies to improve dental health by helping to prevent tooth decay, cavities and gum problems.
Bacteria in the mouth feed on sugar and produce acid, causing cavities. Xylitol tricks bacteria into thinking it is sugar so it gets consumed. However, xylitol cannot be metabolized by bacteria so it builds up inside and stops the bacteria from taking up sugar, eventually starving the bacteria.
Babies are quite prone to cavities because they regularly consume sugary foods and do not know how to clean their teeth. Hence, using brands with toothpaste and dental wipes that contain xylitol like Brush-Baby is recommended. Brush-Baby tailors their products specifically for babies, designing products that are both safe and pleasant-tasting. The fluoride concentration in its products is high enough that it is effective but not too high that it will harm the baby.
Here are some commonly asked questions about cleaning baby teeth:
When to start cleaning my baby’s teeth?
When your baby gets his or her first tooth! This is usually when they are about 6 months old. The earlier you start, the more receptive your baby will be.
How to brush my baby’s teeth?
Sit them on your lap with their head resting on your chest
Apply a small amount of baby toothpaste on a small baby toothbrush with soft bristles
Gently brush their teeth and all areas of their gums in a circular motion
How to prevent baby tooth decay?
Just like adults, it is good to clean their teeth twice a day. Milk and other foods that babies consume have sugars that corrode their teeth if not cleaned for a long time. Avoid letting your baby fall asleep with a sippy cup in their mouth. Choosing toothpaste and dental wipes with xylitol also help to prevent tooth decay.
Should you use fluoride toothpaste for babies?
Yes, but be sure to use toothpaste that is meant for babies. The fluoride concentration in baby toothpaste is safe enough that it won’t harm the baby even if they swallow it.
Is it better to clean my baby’s teeth with a toothbrush or dental wipes?
Both are great methods! Brushing with a toothbrush can help them get used to when they learn to brush by themselves, but if you don’t have a small toothbrush or your baby does not have many teeth yet, then dental wipes are a better choice.
My baby is not cooperative. What can make things easier?
It is a great idea to brush your baby’s teeth in front of the mirror so they can observe what you are doing. Try singing a song and make things fun while brushing their teeth. Lightly brushing their gums also helps to ease their teething pain.
Gunnars, K. (2018, October 04). Xylitol: Everything You Need to Know. Retrieved December 06, 2020, from https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/xylitol-101
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