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Teeth for Life

Preventative dental care for children

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How should I use Xgel?

A:  Bathrooms, especially around washbasins and faucets are notorious for harboring black mold. When a toothbrush used for Xgel is left wet in a bathroom airborne mold and bacteria landing on the brush can start to grow on the remnants of the wet plant based gelling agent used. This mold can then be introduced onto the spout of the Xgel bottle by the toothbrush. Making sure we wash the brush and allow it to dry out properly will minimize this risk and with a little TLC this should not be a problem.

Q: How should I use Xgel on a toothbrush?

A: Xgel replaces your normal toothpaste. It should be applied to a dry toothbrush. Don't rinse or spit after brushing as you want the Xgel to remain in the oral area to interfere with the plaque's attachments. After brushing, wash the brush well with water and then store brush horizontally (flat) with the bristles facing downwards. This will allow the bristles to dry out properly as well as prevent airborne mold and bacteria, found in the bathroom setting, from settling on the bristles. As Xgel does not contain strong preservatives, it is important to ensure that the brush dries out after use. If the brush is stored vertically (upright) the bristles don't always dry out at the convergence of the bristles into the frame. A block of glass or Perspex works well as a storage platform. It’s is good practice to regularly disinfect your toothbrush. This can be done by placing the bristles in a Chlorhexidine solution or an antibacterial mouthwash like Listerine for at least 20 minutes. You can also place wet it and microwave oven for 7 minutes. Storing the Xgel bottle upside down allows quick and easy dispensing of Xgel onto the toothbrush, requiring only a light finger pressure applied to the sides of the bottle.

Q: The antibiotics damaged my child's teeth?

A: It is not the antibiotic but the syrup component which causes the harm. In fact the antibiotic, usually penicillin, actually kills the bacteria which cause the dental disease. It is the sugary syrup given when the saliva is low (from dehydration, or at night) which is the problem. This is why we recommend parents ask for a sugar-free medication or give the tablet form as soon as the child will take it. Any sugar-containing medication should be given from a syringe with the child’s head lying down and to the side. This way the medication is syringed down the throat without causing gagging. It is surprising that most pharmacists give a syringe for medicines to babies, but give a spoon for children with teeth! Please, Mums, give all sugar-containing medicines from a syringe.

Answer taken from "ABC's of children's teeth" - chapter 'M'- Misconceptions.


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Copyright  © Dr. A. Gilhespie 2008. All rights reserved.