Wednesday, January 16, 2013


Thank you for visiting the Ask Dr. Ellie blog! 

As a dentist, Dr. Ellie's goal is to help everyone achieve ultimate oral health. Through good oral health education and teaching people how to use xylitol for maximum oral health benefits, we look forward to empowering more people to take control of their (and their family's) oral health - now and forever. 

In an effort to consolidate the wealth of information compiled over the years, we are working on bringing all of the education, information and reader-communication under one website. 

The beginning of this effort has been to bring the blog posts and Q&A's under one blog - now called Ultimate Oral Health Guide. You can find this blog here:

As always, we would love to hear from you! The best way to have your specific questions answered is to leave a comment on the Ultimate Oral Health Guide blog. 

Thank you for again for visiting and we look forward to being a helpful resource for you! 

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Download our latest guidebooks for Ultimate Oral Health:

Zellies Xylitol Booklet CoverZellies CMCS Booklet

For more information on oral health and xylitol, please visit all of Dr. Ellie's web-sites: - learn more & order your Zellies Xylitol & the Complete Mouth Care System
Dr. - a great resource for learning more about oral health & Dr. Ellie
Dr. E Oral Health Coaching - articles, resources and videos to help you learn more
Join the conversation online on the Zellies Facebook page!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

One Drop Only

Dear Dr.Ellie, 
Have you ever used "One Drop Only" mouthwash which is made of natural ingredients (and is over 60 years in existence) and would you recommend it as part of your mouth hygiene system? If so, how should it be used? Thank you for your time. I find your book very helpful and informative. Thank you.

 - J

Hi J

Thank you for your question about "one drop only"
I don't know much about this product - but the list of ingredients seems safe, and may maintain the oral health of someone who already has good teeth and gums - someone who simply needs to keep them that way.

My system works to stop, prevent and reverse gum disease and tooth damage ( erosion and cavities).
My system is the answer for people who already have fillings, gum disease or tooth problems.
My system is a bit more complicated but if you need to stop disease, prevent damage and help reverse mouth problems - then my system can help with all these things.

For someone with very good teeth, who is at low risk for tooth damage, there may be a number of good products to use, including xylitol, this product or perhaps old fashioned Crest toothpaste!

Thanks so much for your interest - I am glad you enjoyed my book.
Best wishes,


Dr Ellie Phillips

Solutions for Oral Health

More information can be found on this topic and more at:

Dr. Ellie Q & A

Thank you so much for publishing this information. I've noticed results in about a week from your protocol. I had a weird problem with biofilm building up on my teeth, and it's almost all gone now. That was FAST - and totally unexpected so quickly.

Question - you mention fluoride as beneficial. Have you ever recommended vit k2 (from grass-fed sourced ghee or supplements) to support oral health? I've read that this, the vit A from fermented cod liver oil or cow\'s liver, and good intake of vit D (along with a good mineral-rich diet) does a lot to promote good oral health. Thoughts? 

Answer - I am a big fan of fermented foods, vitamins, supplementation and probiotics. I am learning more about foods and supplementation - which I agree makes sense. I am currently reading an interesting book about diet - the Perfect Health Diet by Paul and Shou Jaminet. I think diet is vital for total body health - and most of the information given in the media is as flawed as the "brush and floss" dental message. My next book will speak more about nutrition and oral health - and I hope to have this by early next year.

Question -  You answered a question about using just xylitol as toothpaste but said you could use it in a pinch. Is there a reason why one couldn\'t use this as a long-term solution after fixing any existing oral health issues? Seems like xylitol is what is preventing the bacteria from really taking hold in one\'s mouth. Thoughts?

Answer - I believe the answer depends on your individual risk factors. If you have perfect teeth - with no fillings and no damage to your gums - then there may be many products that can maintain your oral health (since you will not need products that do any more than maintain oral health.) If you have damage or "risk factors" for damage ( a dry or acidic mouth for example) then you need a protocol that gives you more help. You will need to remineralize your teeth every day and help for your gum tissues.  A healthy young man with alkaline saliva, great natural teeth ( no fillings) and good nutrition could probably brush with xylitol all his life - and maintain his oral health. [ Women battle with hormones that affect mouth acidity etc. so this is why I say "young man" in the sentence above]. If you are stressed, have fillings and other dental work, or if you do not have a perfect diet - then I think you need to use the products I recommend that offer as much help as possible. It is your insurance policy against any future damage.

Question/Comment = I recently send in a question about your protocol. I forgot to ask you if you have any thoughts about Sonicare toothbrushes. I've heard they're good. Are they too harsh on gums while using your protocol? I've noticed positive effects so far but want to make sure I'm not doing any damage with this deviation from your suggestion to use a regular toothbrush.

Answer - I do not think one particular kind of brush is better nor worse than another. It is a question of how well you massage your gums with the brush - inside and out - how easily you can maneuver the brush in your own mouth. Also it is vital to think how well you clean your toothbrush every day, how carefully you store it - away from any toilet (and FAR away from anyone else who has dental problems!!)

More information can be found on this topic and more at:

Sorbitol & Acid Reflux

Dear Dr. Ellie:
Are the gums on the market – such as Trident – effective at delivering xylitol? I make lemonade with xylitol in the summer and my kids don’t know the difference. Is that not as effective as xylitol and water because of the acidity of the lemon?
 Have a great day,


Dear P:

Any gum ( like Trident) that mixes xylitol and sorbitol together - basically inactivates the benefits of the xylitol - plus sorbitol can give you bad stomach problems. Sorbitol is used by plaque bacteria - to produce thickened plaque - and many who eat a lot of sorbitol (sugarless) gum have gingivitis and bleeding gums.

Also, sorbitol appears to give people symptoms of acid reflux - quite possibly because it fuels the bacteria responsible for indigestion symptoms (C. Pylori - here is a link: )
So - my suggestion: don't consume gum with sorbitol - it is really not safe for you or for your teeth!

Also you would be better to use a natural sugar in the lemonade and then have some xylitol after drinking it. I do not recommend putting xylitol in acidic or harmful drinks - it gets too diluted in the acidity. Use xylitol immediately after to take the acidity away.

Thanks for your interest - and let me know how things work out for you when you add Closys to your routine.
Best wishes,


More information can be found on this topic and more at:

... "That's Not What My Hygienist Said!"

Hi Dr. Phillips,

Thank you for your detailed reply. I went to my new hygienist and she advised me against using Listerine because it contains several strong chemicals and some research suggests it is carcinogen.

Could you please comment on this and are there any alternatives to Listerine as part of your system?

Thank you very much for your time.


Hi JM,

I make no money from "promoting" any product - and I understand how patients are told many things by different health professionals.
The test is whether or not you have been successful and if today you enjoy great oral health - then follow their directions.

I put my efforts into helping those who have tried hard to follow advice but continue to suffer cavities, gum disease, recession, sensitivity and erosion. These people are not sure why this damage happened. I try to explain that advice is often not based on fact, nor on science.

My book, Kiss Your Dentist Goodbye, explains the chemistry of my system. My blog answers questions and the Facebook testimonials explain that my system works.

Listerine ingredients are three essential oils (eucalyptus, menthol and thymol) - not chemicals - many studies support its amazing effectiveness. The problem with Listerine is its acidity (a pH of 4.2) and my system addresses how we deal with this. The other problem with Listerine is the alcohol that it contains - which is mouth-drying. My system addresses this alcohol problem - by rinsing it away with ACT rinse.

About 5 years ago some studies pointed a finger at Listerine and linked it with cell destruction.
It was published in the Telegraph I think - but later it was found that these studies were funded by a competitor company in Australia - that had a new herb mouth rinse product. Skin cells were placed in test tubes which is not a "fair test" of how Listerine works with cells in the mouth.

In closing, I can only tell you that I use my system, my entire family, friends, employees and thousands and thousands of patients, clients and other dentists. We all not only use this system but recommend it to others who are looking for sustainable oral health.

I hope that answers your questions  - but I understand that you need to decide whom you trust and whom you follow. My system does not work unless it is followed exactly - with xylitol and the precise oral care products. In UK you may have trouble finding the products - so maybe you are best following your hygienist at this time.

Best wishes,
More information can be found on this topic and more at:

Bleaching Causes Damage

Hello Dr Ellie:

I live in Colorado, and I really need your help. I have been reading about you and the system that you use for good oral health. I have some concerns. I had a bleaching treatment done a little less than a year ago. And since that bleaching treatment my teeth do not feel nor look the same. They have a rough feeling to them. I have gone to many dentist here in Colorado to try and get help and figure out what could of happened. So far I have not had much luck and I am extremely worried about this. It is something that keeps me up at night. The only thing that I was told was that it seemed that the enamel had an etched appearance. Just on the superficial layer. My teeth are not sensitive at all at this point but the feeling of roughness bothers me, I did have a dentist try and polish my teeth to see if this helped but not much luck there. Two other dentists suggested veneers, which I don't want to do because they are too aggressive and too expensive. I don't think that my teeth are that bad in condition to have to consider something like this. At this point I don't believe much in dentists. It makes me think that all they want is money. I do not have dental insurance so this is why I am looking to see if my teeth can be repaired more naturally. By the way. I also have some white spots from when I had braces. I need your help. Do you think your system is something that could help me?? If you could please get back to me I would appreciate it.


Dear L:

My system of care is EXACTLY what you need!!!

The mouth rinses are simple and this is easy to use - but it is HOW you use the products that makes this system work.
You must have exactly the correct rinses and paste and use them in the exact and correct method.

50% of the improvement will come from using enough xylitol each day and 50% from using the rinse system twice a day.
Protect your teeth with xylitol after any snacks and drinks that may be acidic - including herbal and green teas.

Also think if you have a dry mouth? At night do you breathe through your mouth?

If so, you may want to add the extra step of using a xylitol nasal spray before bed and again in the morning - to compliment my routine.
The company is called Xclear and these nasal sprays are usually found in health food stores.

Once you have started with xylitol and my system of rinsing - then let me know how things are going and how quickly your teeth feel better.
I will possibly suggest you think about some supplements to your diet and also probiotics - but let's get started with the system first!!

What kind of toothpaste and/or rinses do you use now?

Best wishes,

Dr.Ellie Phillips DDS

Solutions for Oral Health

More information can be found on this topic and more at:

Sunday, May 20, 2012


Dear Ellie:  I understand you stick with and recommend your system.  Because of reading your site, I read the ingredients for Tom's, which we've used for years, and saw that while the whole care toothpaste gel has sodium fluoride (and also xylitol), for some reason, Tom's toothpaste has sodium monoflurophosphate instead of sodium fluoride. I didn't realize until reading your site that sodium fluoride was more effective.  Thank you for the information on your site.

I'd never read about spinach and kale removing the protective film on teeth.  Why is that?  I thought it could be because of oxalic acid but kale is lower than many foods in oxalic acid.

I also read on your site that your daughters have a mild fluorosis.  In India where fluorosis has been caused by high amounts of fluoride in drinking water, they have found the fluorosis can be improved; the children were given ascorbic acid (500 mg), calcium (250 mg) and vitamin D3 (800 IU) daily for 44 days.

Thank you for your time.

 - D

Hi D,

Thanks so much for your message.

Toothpaste Ingredients
I am sure some of Tom's ingredients changed when the company was purchased by Colgate. I would not recommend a monofluorophosphate since the molecule is large and has been shown to have less remineralizing potential. Gylcerine is another product in many "health" pastes - and may interfere with remineralizing also.

Monofluorophosphate was developed in the 1960s as companies were looking to produce a less expensive toothpaste for "third-world countries". Once the recipe was developed, it seems to have gained the attention of shareholders in big oral health companies and there has been a product explosion since then! I don't have numbers - but I am sure the oral product industry has grown beyond belief since the early 1970s ( and oral health has NOT improved because of these "new and improved" products!!)

Vegetables, snacking and tooth damage
My next book will give more detail about nutrition for oral health - things that help and foods that are "healthy" but damage teeth. Of course as part of a meal you can eat whatever you like - it is food eaten alone that is the issue.

Many plants have phytates in the leaves that are able to dissolve healthy biofilm on teeth.
Often "dissolving plaque" has been misinterpreted as a healthy idea and green tea, cranberry juice and baking soda have been recommended to remove plaque from teeth. The outcome is usually erosion, gum recession and sensitivity - because these products remove too much biofilm - (the infected kind as well as the healthy thin biofilm that our teeth NEED for health!)

Spinach has oxalic acid and phytates - so watch out for stripped teeth when consuming spinach. Eat it as part of a meal - finish the meal with cheese, some dairy or xylitol and there will not be a problem!
Kale is more like tea and has phytates in the leaves.

For snacking or drinking between meals I suggest root based plants or a tea from root based plants (carrots / roobios tea etc) protein foods (meat, chicken) or diary (cheese, yogurt, whole mink) - and - xylitol!

Thanks so much for your interest, and your suggestion about fluorosis. Your recommendation would be good for a child  with newly discovered problems - my kids had veneers to correct their major issues. Sad as it was - I guess this problem directed me to investigate fluoride in detail - and see there is good and bad in the story. In retrospect - I am happy to have learned the truth and be able to pass this along to people all over the world.

Thanks again for your message,

Dr.Ellie Phillips DDS

Solutions for Oral Health

More information can be found on this topic and more at:

Fluouride Mouthwash: Canada

Hi Dr Ellie,

How important is it to get a fluoride mouthwash that's contains 0.05% sodium fluoride rather than a weaker solution.

The reason for asking is that here in Montreal I used to be able to get an Oral-B fluoride rinse (active ingredients cetylpyridinium chloride monohydrate 0.05% and sodium fluoride 0.05%) but this has now been discontinued.  There was a recall by the manufacturer in July of last year and now my online supplier no longer carries it.

I haven't been any to find Fluoriguard but I was able to find this.

Crest Pro-Health Complete with Fluoride alcohol free  ... but it's only got 0.021% Sodium fluoride.

Please let me know what you think.  If it's sub-optimal, I'll just have to head down to Plattsburgh :)

Many thanks for your great website and taking the time to disseminate such useful information.


Hi K,

Thanks for your message.

I have always recommended 0.05% because I know that this solution will work.

When you go weaker - it MAY work but I think I have to suggest trying to get the correct concentration.

Dr.Ellie Phillips DDS

Solutions for Oral Health

More information can be found on this topic and more at:

Leaky Fillings

Hi Ellie,

I am 46 years old. I've had a history of cavities since I was very young. A long bout with antibiotics when I was 4 left my teach in sorry shape. now, my gums are receding and I have 2 crowns, looking at the third. The reason, as my dentist tells me, is that the amalgam fillings in my teeth are so big and have become leaky paving the way for decay. a mouth full of crowns, according to him, is my destiny. As a health professional who focuses on prevention and reversal of disease, I couldn't figure out why periodontal disease was, according to the dental profession, not treatable -- only controllable. that's not acceptable to me. Just as conventional physicians say that heart disease is not reversible, I know different. I searched and searched, and I came across your book. And there in black and white, you empowered me with the truth. Just as there is a method or lifestyle to preventing heart disease and diabetes, there is one for perio disease. Thank you!! I am not finished with your book. I have been reading it diligently, but that means between work, kid's baseball schedules, and other responsibilities. It thrills me that my pockets of 2-3mm can be reversed.

Thanks again, p

Leaky fillings may be greatly helped by the use of my system and frequent amounts of xylitol.
I suggest that drinking a dilute solution of xylitol in water during the day will help your periodontal health and also this condition. The Zellie-water percolates down the "leaky-filling gap" to help remineralize under the filling - and possibly prevent the need for changing them - it may take a year - but it is possible.

I am sorry I did not think to put granular xylitol into the package - do you have this already?
It is usually available at a health food store - but check the ingredients and be careful to get pure xylitol.

Zellies mints are great for surface remineralization - so a mix and match approach with the xylitol will be good for your oral health.

Please let me know if you have any other questions.

Are you signed up for our newsletter? -if not, it may be a good idea.
The best place to sign up is at the top of the website home page at

Best wishes,

Dr.Ellie Phillips DDS

Solutions for Oral Health

More information can be found on this topic and more at:

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Dental Care Program - Update

Dear Dr. Ellie,

I have been using your complete dental care program for just over 3 weeks and my teeth/mouth have never felt so clean! I also noticed that there is no hard plaque build-up on the inside of my 3 center lower teeth. Usually the build-up starts shortly after my teeth cleaning, which I had shortly before beginning your program. So I am very happy and hope that this can resolve my periodontal disease.

I just finished reading your book...excellent and easy to read. I have just a few questions if you don't mind. I would be happy to pay for your advice; I don't expect you to work for free. Let me know.

On page 78 you say that for deep gum pockets, use the Closys rinse for 2-3 minutes instead of the usual one minute. The pockets in my upper rear left gums are 4-6mm.....should I use Closys for longer time?

Can I use the ACT rinse after lunch or snacks?

My filtered water is pH 5.5, acidic. I try to drink 2 quarts of water a day. Can I use one xylitol packet in each quart and sip or is that too diluted?

My mouth pH this morning was about 6.6 but I have a cold so don't know if accurate...will check in a few days.

Tea - you say on pg 141 that tea has polyphenols which control mouth bacteria. I thought you had told me to only drink my herbal tea with meals because of the phytates. Can I put xylitol in my herbal tea?

Thank you so much for your help.


Hi PH,

Since writing my book - I have done more experimenting with timing the rinses.

One Minute
Of course, this was not a clinical trial - but I had a number of my clients "play" with the length of their rinsing and report results.
We all agreed that one minute with each rinse seems to give ideal results ( although some found they cannot tolerate one minute with Listerine - so they do it for 30-60 seconds - which is fine).
One minute with Closys - one minute with ACT - makes your mouth feel even "cleaner" than using them for longer - and we think this timing makes our teeth whiter.

Tip your head
To target pocketing - I think it is important to "tip" your head - so that the Closys has a chance to wash over this area.
If your gum problems are in the front, for example, make sure the front teeth have a bath in the Closys.
For your upper right - ensure you "tip" your head to the upper right for a minute or two.

To eliminate pocketing - let the rinses do their work - don't try to add extra things like the Waterpik etc - it seems to stop the healing.
Let the rinses and xylitol work their magic!

Four More Ideas
Four things that may additionally help heal pocketing ( these are not mentioned in my first book - yes, I am writing a follow up with details of nutrition etc !!):

    1. Brush your GUMS when you "brush" your "teeth". The rinses and xylitol clean teeth - so the need is to brush / MASSAGE the gums - get the circulation moving - on the inside ( palate side and by the tongue ) and on the outside (in the cheek area - as far back as your jaw joint - up high - close to your EAR!!!) Brush gums far back - you may need to close up your mouth a bit - so your cheek is "floppier" to allow the toothbrush access to this area.

    2. Consider adding a probiotic to your diet - take a probiotic first thing in the morning - maybe with a little yogurt and any supplements you normally take - to start every day!

    3. Add one teaspoon of xylitol to water every morning - and sip this during the morning. I think the "solution" of xylitol sipped slowly is very good for periodontal issues - then have a Zellies mint or gum after meals to complete the rest of the day. This way you will ensure you have "enough" xylitol ( 6-10 grams) but I have come to believe the "solution" is very helpful to gums - and the mints / gum work more to help teeth. A little of both - voila!

    4. If you have any sinus or nasal allergies etc - I believe this can be connected to gum problems. Xlear make a nasal spray that is excellent and I suggest using this - two squirts at night and again in the morning. If you have really bad problems do it again during the day. The effects are progressive - don't expect Xclear to work like a  pharmaceutical product - this is xylitol in saline - it works naturally to clear and decongest sinuses. Xylitol is anti-fungal and anti-bacterial - and I believe that this is why it works.

Hope these four suggestions will put the end to your gum problems. Please let me know how this goes!

I think all the readers of Kiss Your Dentist Goodbye will like my  "next level" book with suggestions about oral health.

I have to hurry up and get this book finished - and maybe decide what kind of title to give this one - any ideas?

Best wishes,

More information can be found on this topic and more at:

Dr. Ellie

Dear Dr. Ellie:

Just found you on Amazon while looking for a book by a holistic dentist in CT. I am trying to decide on a fixed bridge or implants. I am 70 and have made it this far with  no root canals. Also my dentist recommended a water pik. What is your thought on that.

I am looking forward to reading your site.


Hi Sharon,

Thank you so much for your question - I hope you enjoy the information we have on our websites. (this is a hub and a good place to start) Here you will learn more about my position on oral health. At the "contact us' part of the site you will see all the connections to other sites, testimonials, video etc.etc.

I have two other sites: where you can see video and sign up for personal help where we have a blog, sign up for our newsletter and products for sale.

Today a mini implant can be done quickly and they are less invasive than a traditional implant.
I am certainly not a guru on implants - but I know people who are - and they speak highly of this as a way to go in many situations. 3M was the company who first introduced these - you would need to have a good assessment by your dentist - and they are not for every situation - and many people view them as "temporary"

On the other hand - depending on which tooth you need replaced - this may be something to consider.
Here is a place to start reading about mini implants:

Periodontal Health
My system of care has allowed hundreds of people to heal their periodontal problems completely and easily. My system of rinses and adequate xylitol offers success to people who have had "cleanings and polishings" for decades with no improvement in their oral health. I teach everyone to clean their toothbrushes daily and brush their gums well. You have to brush the gums inside and outside the"arch" - focus on massaging your gums and don't worry too much about brushing your teeth.

Pocketing will usually go away in about 2 months, reducing so that gums become totally healthy again (often to the amazement of the dental professionals).
I have discovered people who use the Waterpik do not get total resolution like this. Their pockets appear to stay at 4 mm and not reduce completely. They may go down from 7 to 4 - but then they get stuck.

This is why I prefer to recommend good rinsing ( my system of rinses), correct brushing with a toothbrush ( inside gums as well as outside) possibly probiotics and supplements to the diet, and of course xylitol!

Adding any of these features will help - by doing them all - the results will be amazing!

Wishing you a lifetime of sustainable oral health,
Thanks again for your message.

Dr.Ellie Phillips DDS

Solutions for Oral Health

More information can be found on this topic and more at:

Saturday, May 05, 2012

Something I saw...

Dear Dr. Ellie:

Something I saw on the zellies or cleanwhiteteeth websites, and can''t find now... There was a table that went over the purpose of each item in the system. Like, if you don't mind xyz, you can skip this item, if you don't mind abc, you can skip this item. It was very clear. Where can I find it in the current web sites?

Thanks, ST

Hi ST,

Thanks for your message.
Do you mean "adapt the system to your own priorities?"

Here is the link:

Remember that 50% of improvements come from using the system EXACTLY as recommended and 50% is from the use of xylitol to protect your teeth from damage and infection.

Hope this is what you were looking for,

Best wishes,

More information can be found on this topic and more at:

Friday, April 27, 2012

Finding a Preventative Minded Dentist

Dear Dr. Ellie:

I have had dental problems for many years, and am now following the regime in your book

which I find a very refreshing outlook on dentistry. How do I find a dentist who is

sympathetic to your principles, and will only

do work on my teeth that is essential?

I live on the south coast of England, UK.
- G

Hi G,

This is a good question and I am happy to explain how I try to find a dentist here in the US, when people ask me this.
I think you may not find many people from the UK with this method, so I am happy to do some research on your behalf and try to find you someone near your home town in England.

Usually I start by looking for someone who is a member of AAOSH (
I view these dentists as pioneer types who care a lot about their patients and are motivated to be a member of an organization that at present offers no financial incentive to them.

Next I search the Oral DNA testing site ( ) and finally the Veloscope site ( for similar reasons).

Together this gives me a very short list of people who I imagine should be forward thinking, caring and prepared to spend money in the best interest of his or her patients.
I see that as a profile of a great dental professional.

I know this is not really scientific so I then follow up with a personal email or telephone conversation with everyone on the short list.
I usually ask if they recommend xylitol and what they think of it.
This is the best question - since a keen interest is what I am looking for - and a half-hearted response won't do!

I am happy to investigate in your area of the UK if you can give me a few more specifics about how far you could travel etc - general area of interest etc.

Best wishes,

More information can be found on this topic and more at:


Dear Dr. Ellie:

I am a little confused about the use of xylitol. Your book recommends 6.5 to 10 grams of xylitol per day, which seems to indicate that the amount of xylitol consumed is the important factor. But I also got the impression from reading your book that the xylitol does its repair work by being in contact with the enamel, the longer the better. If that is true, what does it matter how many grams are involved? Can you clarify this issue?

Hi Don,

Thanks for your message.
Xylitol works in two ways - 1) helping to control harmful bacteria and 2) stimulating minerals into the mouth to repair and strengthen teeth.

In order to limit plaque and virtually eradicate the bacteria that cause cavities, studies in 2002 ( P. MIlgrom, U. Washington) showed that you needed a dose in this range ( 6.5- 10 grams) to achieve this.
The effect is through absorption into the bacteria cell - and this makes the bacteria unable to reproduce and unable to stick together ( because xylitol does not provide them any energy for these processes).
In this way, xylitol limits plaque formation and makes plaque slippery - so it falls off teeth more easily when you next brush or rinse your teeth.

Dr. Milgrom showed that above 10 grams you did not get any additional benefits - so eating half a pound xylitol each day would not make your mouth any cleaner!

What was discovered was that frequency seems important for the speed of this effect - so strive for five exposures a day - is a good suggestion.
Since plaque bacteria multiply after mealtimes - eating some xylitol after meals is a very good time to consume it ( one gram, six times a day - for example).

If you want to have stronger teeth - xylitol helps since xylitol ( as a mint or gum) stimulates a flow of alkaline saliva around teeth - and these minerals strengthen teeth. There are no studies that show any benefit from duration of xylitol in the mouth - although if you can keep stimulating a flow of alkaline saliva - that is going to be helpful. For this, the best would be to nibble one or two mints throughout the day.

I hope this explains the two ways that xylitol works and why it seems confusing.

More information can be found on this topic and more at:

Xylitol and Fruit/Cucumber Water Question

Hello Dr. Ellie,

I'm wanting to add Xylitol into my daily water consumption, but I also like to add fresh strawberries, cucumber, or lemon to my water when I want some extra flavor. Would that in any way hinder the benefits of the Xylitol? I want to make sure that I get the full benefits of the Xylitol.

Thank you for all the research and time you spend answering the questions of your readers, your blog is amazing! What a great resource!


Hi B,

Generally I suggest you drink your favorite drinks during a meal - and then finish with some xylitol!
Strawberries are alkaline and so is cucumber - but lemon is very acidic and will damage your enamel.

To be safe, it is better to consume a little xylitol after every meal or drink.
Putting xylitol into an acidic drink will not be enough to negate the acidity.

Hope this helps,

Dr.Ellie Phillips DDS
Solutions for Oral Health

More information can be found on this topic and more at:

GC MI Paste and NovaMin

Dear Dr. Ellie:

What do you think of the GC MI Paste from Japan. Uses Recaldent, and they claim its PH is OK for the mouth. Helps to remineralize teeth with calcium and phosphoros, and help sensitivities.

Also what do you think of NovaMin? Just purchased by Sensodyne, but there are a few products that still have it. Dr Collins for one.


Dear GC:

Yes, calcium and phosphate is needed to remineralize teeth.
We have known for decades that cheese and other whole-milk diary products provide these minerals for teeth.

Mi paste is basically an expensive paste made from milk powder and my hunch is that natural dairy products work better! The studies on MI paste are flimsy and I have yet to find anyone raving about the results.

The advertising for this product is glossy and prominent - but remember the ADA owns the Intellectual Property on Novamin - so of course it is excited about selling the product! If you use xylitol and my mouth care system - I believe that sensitivity and other dental problems will be resolved more naturally and more permanently.

-Dr. Ellie

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Saturday, April 14, 2012

That's Not What my Hygienist Says

Dear Dr. Ellie:

I'm so confused. I've been using your system since June 2011. Shortly after beginning your system, my teeth felt slippery which is supposed to be a good thing. Then I noticed staining on my teeth which is supposed to be dead plaque. I went to my new holistic dentist today for a cleaning. The hygienist did not think I needed to be using all the rinses you recommend. She thought the ACT mouthwash was responsible for staining. I had also stopped flossing while on your system, unless there was something stuck in my teeth. The hygienist wants me to floss, brush with a regular toothbrush, then brush with a gum brush, then rinse with Closys. The hygienist is a young woman in her 20s. She said I didn't need to be using all those rinses, just the Closys. She thinks the Listerine is too harsh and that Closys kills germs sufficiently. So now I don't know what to do. Thank you.

Hi L,

Here is a quick story:

Several years ago I was a 6 hour keynote speaker for a dental hygiene school graduation day. The school was celebrating 50 years of teaching hygiene.

At the end of the day ( I took the entire day to explain the biochemistry of my system of care) the DEAN of the school ( a hygienist in her late 50s) came up to me and said "Ellie, I am so glad you came to speak with us today - my teeth are falling apart!"

Why does the dental profession continue to promote protocols that don't work? Because nobody is paying attention to outcomes. 90% of US adults have dental problems - and that includes hygienists and dentists (who should be a shining example of what to do!!!)

You cannot judge outcomes at age 20 - but a hygienist in her 30s, 40s or older should know how to enjoy ultimate oral health - otherwise be careful!
Do you take hair care advice from a stylist with bad hair?

Best wishes,

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Hi, I don't seem to see any reference to flossing.

Flossing seems to be the most important step. Is that true or false?

Thank you, G

Hi G,

Sorry to burst your bubble - but there is not one single randomized clinical trial to show that flossing stops cavities.

Amazed - but wait - there is more to the story!

Check out and you will find that a "flossing lobby" exists - which is very interesting - don't you think?
Who funds this lobby? I don't know and could never find out.

If you did brush and floss perfectly - you could only remove 40% of plaque from your mouth - whereas the use of xylitol in adequate amounts removes 98% plaque and at the same time encourages healthy bacteria to live in your mouth and protect your gums and teeth. Xylitol has no "xylitol lobby" and most of the xylitol companies are small and without a voice.

Flossing removes bits of food from teeth - but germs create cavity and gum problems - so it is germs that must be addressed for oral health. I have never flossed and yet have excellent oral health. Many people floss, yet continue to experience cavities, gum disease and problems that never end.

If you like to floss, flossing may not BE a problem ( that depends on how well you do it).
Just don't rely on it to help you, and be aware it can cause damage to your gums and even create a bacterial spread into your blood stream ~ which could be damaging for your heart if your gums are in bad shape.

Hope this explains!

Best wishes,

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Zellies and Teeth

Hi Dr. Ellie,

My 7 year old son does not have any molars yet. He sees his dentist every 6 months and has never had a cavity. He doesn't need the ACT rinse yet, does he? From what I gather from your blog he won\'t need the ACT until his molars come in?

On the other hand his sister, who\'s 8, had a cavity to my surprise this past year. I wish I had known that it was possible to heal a small cavity, but we had it filled because that was what the doctor suggested. This daughter sleeps with her mouth open and has bad breath. I\'ve started her using the Listerine in conjuntion with the ACT and all children will be on xyltol when it arrives. Even though she\'s 8 I thought with her history that the Listerine would that correct?


Hi S,

Thanks for your message. You are correct that the priority for a 7 year old without permanent molars yet is xylitol in adequate amounts. In Scandinavia they start xylitol in Preschool - ensuring the kids' mouths are "ready" for the eruption of new molars. 7 is quite late for these molars that often erupt during Kindergarten ages.

The first bacteria to get into the biting surface grooves of molars - become the dominant bacteria of the mouth. Ensuring that the mouth bacteria are healthy BEFORE the eruption of molars is the best way to achieve this ( and it usually takes 6 months of 5-10 grams per day to make the oral bacteria truly healthy).

Fluoride comes into play when we need to stimulate the formation of the Pellicle layer over new molar teeth. It usually takes about a year for Pellicle to form, but in conjunction with ACT dilute fluoride, xylitol and good diet - you can often get this protective layer to form in less than half that time.

Remember that cheeses and organic dairy are perfect endings to meals and make great snacks for teeth.
Limit juices and anything acidic to during a meal - and end the meal with a tooth-protective food or xylitol.

When anyone mentions bad breath - I suggest looking for some kind of bacterial transfer - xylitol will be very helpful. Check toothbrushes are clean every day - that they dry completely between uses, and are stored at least 10 feet from any toilet area.

Hope this helps,


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Hi Ellie,

Thanks for getting back to me. I will get on your system, but I just have a quick question regarding your comment about whitening products.

I am not intending (and have never done) bleaching on my teeth, but do you think that just by using toothpaste or a mouthwash that contains whitening in it, that I can be causing gum recession? It's hard to find toothpaste these days without whitening, but I will try. Does the little amount of whitening in the toothpaste actually cause gum recession to otherwise healthy gums????

Thanks so much again!


Hi L,

The problem with peroxide and baking soda ( both products used for "whitening") is that even a tiny amount has the ability to "dissolve" a natural protective layer, that normally defends healthy teeth.

This layer ( called the pellicle) is not talked about often - except maybe by pediatric dentists who understand its importance for protecting new adult teeth as they come into the mouth.
Pediatric dentist know that a new adult molar erupts without this layer and it takes about a year for it to grow from proteins in saliva that mesh with healthy bacteria to form a healthy "biofilm".
This pellicle/ healthy biofilm can defend teeth from damage of all kinds - as we eat, drink or eat hot and cold items , get subject to infections, and from other some natural toxins that otherwise can damage teeth.

Many things damage this layer besides peroxide - the list is long and includes long periods of dryness, acidity, certain leafy plants( spinach and kale) and even teas - since they contain a substance that is "toxic" to this layer.
These reasons create a list that some dentists call "risk factors" for tooth damage.

Without this protective layer on your teeth and gums, they are left "naked" - or "raw".
You can think of this in this way: Imagine if you scrubbed or stripped your face of all its natural moisturizers. Would your face be healthy or red and raw? You know it would burn easily, get infected, flake and crack etc. Healthy skin is not scrubbed clean - it has a natural protective layer over it - a mix of healthy bacteria, oils and proteins that lie in defense on the surface.

Once you "dissolve" this pellicle layer off your teeth - it will need to re-grow again.
You may be lucky and have the natural "ingredients" to reform it again - I don't know. Most men are able to do this - most women cannot.

People with vegan diets or poor digestive system have a very tough time to regrow this layer - and this is why they can experience sensitive teeth, cavities and serious gum recession.

I have a chapter on whitening in my book Kiss Your Dentist Goodbye - which explains the other dangers of whitening, and asks why most of these dangers have been ignored by this money-making industry!

Best wishes,

Dr.Ellie Phillips DDS
Solutions for Oral Health

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NO breath strips

Dear Dr. Ellie: 

I have been purchasing the various components of the recommended system and had a few questions.

I noticed today that ACT Anticavity when sold in an 18 oz bottle has the ADA seal and contains .05% Sodium Fluoride yet when sold in the 33.8 oz bottle does not have the seal and contains only .02% Sodium Fluoride. Obviously purchasing it in a larger bottle is cheaper but I feel that the smaller % of Fluoride and lack of seal suggest that it would not be as helpful...and this upsets me as I fear they are two very different products but unless you pay close attention you may not notice. What do you think? Should we use the one with the seal and with more fluoride? Also - I noticed that Listerine Mint is available in breath strips and wonder if using that during the day might also prove helpful? Thanks - I have my parents, sister & two friends (who do not have dental insurance) using your system. Thanks for your help! 

 - P

Hi P,

NO NO NO to the breath strips!!!

Why not use Zellies mints - they will not only help your breath but do EVERYTHING else you need for oral health and happiness with your teeth!!!! Zellies mints are in Wegmans stores in their health food sections or you can purchase from the website.

Yes, you need to stay with the original 18oz ACT - check the pictures on the home page of my Zellies website - these are our products on our bathroom shelf!

Sorry but the world is not trying to help you - the choices on the supermarket shelves - with hundreds of oral care products are not there to help YOU but to help the companies make money!
Obviously confusing you and coming out with the "latest and greatest" is the game in this department.

Check the images here:

Stay with the system - read my bogs and learn what damages teeth and what helps them.
Good luck - and please let me know if you have more questions!

Best wishes,

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