Thursday, March 22, 2012

Buying Green: Spiffies and I Can Brush

Are you looking for a kids' dental health option that is paraben- and fluoride-free? Spiffies makes Cleaning and Teething Wipes and I Can Brush tooth-brushing liquid, both pediatrician-developed by Ray Wagner, MD.

The wipes contain a formula rich in xylito and have been shown to reduce bacteria in the mouth. They can also be stored in the fridge to provide a cooling sensation for teething relief (much safer than some of those numbing gels that are out there). My toddler had no problem with the taste, although she's old enough that she still wanted to brush her own teeth afterwards (at two, she's very independent).

The 100% natural tooth-brushing liquid is also rich in the cavity fighter xylitol and it's safe if a little bit gets swallowed. The grape flavor goes over well with my kids. The only downside is if you're used to toothpaste, it is a little hard to get used to tooth-brushing liquid (and a little messier to try to let your kids do it alone).

What is xylitol? Xylitol, according to the California Dental Association Xylitol information page, is a naturally-occurring sugar substitute. It can sweeten products, but the bacteria that live in the mouth can't use it as food. Fewer bacteria means less decay and less chance of cavities (which is important even for baby teeth - they may lose them, but you still don't want to deal with cavities). It can also be found in certain gums. A large amount of xylitol can have a laxative effect, but the amount that shows up in gums, mints, or toothpastes is well below what will typically have a laxative effect.

Disclosure: I received samples of Spiffies and I Can Brush to facilitate this review.

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