Teething can raise serious health issues. The FDA, citing the risk of a potentially fatal blood disorder, recently banned benzocaine oral care products after earlier prohibiting homeopathic teething tablets containing belladonna. While that’s left teething product shelves empty at many stores, it’s also contributed to a surge in popularity of doctor-formulated, clinically-proven Spiffies® Baby Tooth-Wipes. Twenty-five million Spiffies have been sold worldwide to soothe teething and fight cavities in infants and toddlers.
Spiffies wipes are moist textured towelettes saturated with xylitol (sourced from birch trees), a natural sweetener that reduces tooth decay by decreasing harmful bacteria that form dental plaque. A disposable Spiffies wipe wrapped around a parent’s finger easily cleans and gently massages a child’s gums and emerging teeth. Individual Spiffies foil packets can be cooled in the refrigerator for increased soothing effect on inflamed gums.
Tucson Pediatrician Ray Wagner, M.D., who invented Spiffies, notes that “tooth decay is a real threat, even for babies.” The bacteria that cause decay are transmitted to infants through kissing or when parents and siblings share spoons or pacifiers. “Stopping the bacteria during infancy puts kids on the path to a lifetime of good oral health,” Dr. Wagner says. Research confirms that xylitol and Spiffies reduce tooth decay. (Spiffies research reports are available here.)
Spiffies should be used 2-3 times daily – after meals and especially before bed. “Those long sleep hours promote bacterial growth,” Dr. Wagner notes. “Parents should start cleaning baby’s gums at four months, continue with Spiffies wipes as the first front teeth come in, and then transition to brushing as molars appear. Also, be sure to schedule baby’s first dentist visit by age one.” Parents should also regularly examine their children’s gums and teeth. The first sign of a cavity is a chalky white spot on the tooth, usually at the gum line.
The American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Dental Association recommend treating teething discomfort with gentle finger massage, and starting daily oral hygiene when teeth emerge. Grape- or apple-flavored Spiffies are available in Buy Buy Baby stores and online at Amazon and Walmart. For toddlers, Spiffies Tooth Gel with xylitol, in strawberry and grape, is safe to swallow, helping parents teach children good brushing habits. Visit www.Spiffies.com.