Xylitol

I’ve seen it written on tubes of toothpaste – Xylitol.

But what actually is it?

Turns out, its sugar. Wierd, eh? People are actually BRUSHING THEIR TEETH WITH SUGAR. It all sounds a bit wacky and wrong, but actually, there is logic behind the madness.

Xylitol is a natural sugar, found in fruits such as raspberries, for example. It’s undigestible by decay-causing bacteria, and this means that when it’s on your teeth, the decay therefore isn’t. Simple!

Which is why I was happy giving the Wee Man sugary Xylitol toothpaste to try – courtesy of Brush Baby. He was happy as it tastes like applemint -in fact I think he’d happily have eaten the entire tube of it just because it tasted so great – and I was happy because for once he was brushing his teeth ‘like a tiger’ (think of a big teeth baring grrrr and you’ll realise why this is good) and not complaining about having to do so.

A win win situation.

He is now fiercely possessive of his toothpaste, and woe betide anyone else who attempts to use it. Luckily for him, as it’s been developed specifically for babies and toddlers, he has a legitimate reason for witholding it from Mummy and Daddy, and Bubby D who has as yet no teeth has not asserted a claim over it either.

Bubby D has, however, been enjoying chewing on her toothbrush. This may seem a bit random, since as I said she has no teeth, but for both my children, as soon as they’ve learned to hold things, I’ve let them have a toothbrush to play with while I was brushing my own teeth. I’ve found that it means that when they DO get teeth, it generally makes getting them to brush them a whole lot easier. (Most of the time, anyway. There have been the odd ‘pin him down and scrub them myself’ incidents with the Wee Man when he’s being particularly contrary, but luckily these don’t occur often as they aren’t much fun…).

Happily for Bubby D, Brush Baby also do chewable toothbrushes, and not only do they clean teeth but they massage sore gums too. The toothbrush can be cooled in the fridge to make it even nicer for teething babies to have a good old gnaw on, and it can also be sterilised and/or washed in the dishwasher – a huge benefit as a lot of the time Bubby D’s toothbrush ends up chucked into dark bathroom recesses after some enthusiastic waving it about.

At 8 months, with her little red cheeks and excessive drooling I’d say teeth are fairly imminent, so the Wee Man had better watch out on the toothpaste front. Although, in another couple of months when he reaches the grand old age of 3, there’s some exciting news for him – he’ll be upgraded to Tutti Frutti flavour children’s toothpaste!

I’m actually quite tempted to try it myself. Boo to my boring old minty stuff.

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