Wednesday, December 31, 2008

On your System for 5 Months, Need Advice

Hi Dr. Ellie,

I read your comment on your blog:

"The most amazing thing to witness is the rebuilding of the tooth with an actual hole in it.I do not know exactly how it heals and I do not know the maximum limit at which a cavity can remineralize. I have witnessed many teeth that had holes in them - and remineralized. I would not suggest this (except with the advice of a dentist looking at an X-ray) for anyone with sensations of hot , cold or sweet discomfort. Such sensations may indicate that the inner dentine is involved in the process."

I have been on your system for 5 months. The Listerine has been a problem for me, my teeth are super sensitive for days with each use. My teeth, I've been told, have cracks in them from old fillings.

I've been about 8 out of 10 on your system with some slip ups (missing the daily recommendation for xylitol) on certain days and skipping the Listerine and using Biotene instead which seemed better.

I was hoping that I would "cure my teeth".

My teeth ARE still hurting especially sensitive to pressure, hot, and cold. There is decay underneath the fillings (the tooth is dark) and was told that I need to have onlays and one tooth in particular, the decay is getting close to the pulp. Am I past the point you think of miraculous healing and I should have these restored (8,000 dollars!). Does the pain in the Listerine, the hot and cold, seem to indicate a very serious problem and if it is true that the decay is underneath, is it really possible for me to stick this out 12 more months and ignore the pain to give your system a chance. And am I really giving it a chance if I'm bypassing Listerine daily (because it hurts) for your system to work.

Loaded questions, but need your advice based on your experience.

Much regards,

Dear J
If I were you, and wanted to avoid fillings and re-filling:

I would never skip the recommended amount of xylitol
I would only use Zellies products (I am not biased I say this because I KNOW they work)
I would eat Zellies (mints or gum) after EVERYTHING that I eat or drink (especially juice, lemon water, iced tea, sports drinks, beer or wine etc.)

If Listerine hurts Biotene is not the replacement in my system.
I would rather you dilute Listerine so that it is tolerable even if this is one drop in a cup of water.

Use ACT as if it were your best friend!
It is like moisturizer for dry skin.
Use ACT (not Restore) at least twice a day maybe you need to use ACT three times a day and rinse for a timed 2 minutes at least.

The combination of ACT with sufficient xylitol should help cracks in teeth many people have seen them completely disappear. If you will commit to this program for two months you should be able to evaluate how you are doing.

If there really is no improvement I would like to hear from you because something does not seem right. My system (the biochemistry) stimulates natural remineralization all day and all night. There is no way not to have improvement!

From a conversation you and I had I remember that you were concerned about the color of your teeth. I hope you are not doing bleaching or other whitening baking soda, peroxide or other "color improving" products. These will stop any progress and probably be the death of your teeth if they really do have cracks in them.

I would like you to get a new 2009 calendar. Mark Jan 1st as the first day and then mark two weeks out (as two weeks from the start of this new commitment) four weeks, six and eight weeks. Each time you reach the milestone write down the following comments:
How your teeth feel (same/better/worse)
How your teeth look (same/better/worse)
If they are worse then you should probably reconsider my advice and go back to your dentist.
If things seem to be getting better you should see improvement at the end of eight weeks and this will continue for at least two years maybe longer.

What are you drinking most of the time? Check the acidity of any drinks you have in your refrigerator. Have you tested your saliva pH? we sell kits on line and it is very interesting.

Good luck you have my best ideas mixing suggested products with other products WILL NOT WORK mostly they reverse any progress even products that have the ingredient xylitol in them! I have no suggestions to add or subtract from the system I endorse.


Thanks for the message I appreciate your confidence in me!
Again I am just telling you what I would do!

Happy New Year and here's to Dental Health in 2009!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

ACT Mouthrinse and Fluoride

Hi again Dr Ellie, 

My son's teeth are doing great, even the one that died [broken root]; anyway what I'm inquiring about is: Is the ACT rinse absolutely essential? I ask because my son literally sucks it off the cloth as either mom or I are putting on his teeth. We're afraid he'll get too much that possible? Except for whatever fluoride is in food or water he doesn't have any. And he mostly drinks bottled water. We have been brushing his teeth with 2 zellies Cool Fruit candies crushed and mixed with Tom's of Maine Silly Strawberry toothpaste and then bathing his teeth with a syrup of 1 tsp Xylitol granular plus 2 tsp water before nap and nighttime. So he is getting 5 grams of the Xylitol 2x daily at sleep times, then candies/gum he has finally learned how to suck in between times. Plus Spiffies when we're driving anywhere. His present dentist says his cavities "appear" to have all remineralized. Or at least he can't find them anymore. Hurray!! But we really need info on the ACT. Thanks.


Dear MC

What a great story I am so happy for you and for your son.

I believe that ACT has been a part of this healing process. I hope you will read my chapter on Fluoride when my book is published later this year my views on fluoride span the gap between being in fear of fluoride yet understanding the best kind of fluoride and how to use it to heal and protect teeth.

I do not endorse fluoride added to drinking water and I would never recommend a strong gel treatment BUT the use of dilute sodium fluoride in ACT directly on the tooth is very useful. Have you considered putting a drop onto his toothbrush in place of toothpaste?

Another idea would be a fluoride varnish. This a varnish that releases a very small amount of fluoride onto the teeth and this lasts for about 4 months. Your dentist would need to apply this varnish to your son's molar teeth. This would then become your source of fluoride for him.

Keep up the good work and I believe your son is on the pathway to enjoying great adult teeth.

Happy New Year,

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Rinsing with ACT

Dear Dr. Ellie, 

I am using your xylitol and rinse system and LOVE!!! the results, but have one simple question. When I get home after school at around 2:45, is it alright if I swish for 3 minutes with the ACT rinse only? Would it benefit me? I want to get my teeth white and smooth, will this help me get there? I notice I have little scratches in my teeth. Any help would be greatly appreciated!


Hi Steve,
This is a great idea.

Combining ACT rinses and the continuous use of xylitol after meals will help your teeth a lot.
Three times rinsing is very acceptable for an adult. I actually do this myself when I am at work and just want a quick refresher.

I am always a little cautious to recommend multiple rinsing for small children because they tend not to spit out very well. I am not an advocate for ingestion of fluoride in quantity (I do not want to drink fluoride in drinking water).

When rinsing try to keep the rinse on your teeth for about three minutes. The effects will only take place while the rinse is in contact with your teeth. I think if you do this you will soon notice great results.

Try to be patient you may have to wait a year to see whitening but your teeth will strengthen and you will be rewarded!

Ellie Phillips, DDS

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Dental Q and A

The following is a Q & A between Dr. Ellie and a mother about dental care. We hope you find it helpful. If you would like your dental and oral care questions answered by Ellie Phillips, DDS, comment here or go to the Zellies website.

Q: My daughter (10-yr old, no cavities) has light brownish teeth with white marks on them. Is it a bad idea for her to use the ACT mouth rinse?
Will it make her
tooth spots worse??

A:The quick answer is that ACT will help not make this worse.

Q: I am kicking myself because I let the dentist 2 weeks ago (before I found your website) talk me into giving my daughter a fluoride foam rinse. I have no idea how much fluoride was in it, and I know its probably my imagination, but I am now imagining that her spots are more prominent!

A: You did nothing wrong and the spots will not be worse!
I am not promoting foam fluoride treatments at the dentist because for a child like yours there is evidence that that do nothing useful.

Q: Can I mix some xylitol in unsweetened Cool-aid and have it count towards the 6.5 gm daily total? I am having a hard time getting them to take enough mints/gum. But the xylitol sweetened cool-aid is very acidic (pH paper says 4.5 or 5) and I am wondering if that eliminates some or all of the xylitol benefits.

A: Quick answer is that I think it would be much better if your kids ate or
drank xylitol AFTER this acidic drink. I would suggest that you make up a some xylitol water: add two teaspoons of xylitol to some warmed water (so it dissolves) and keep cool in drinking bottles in the refrigerator.

Let your kids know that this Z drink will protect their teeth from the damage that Cool-Aid does to their have a sip at the end of every drink or snack.

Alternatively try other tooth-protective foods to protect your kids teeth from the Cool aid: cheese, dairy, nuts etc...and try sprinkling xylitol on their cereal in the morning. It bakes into wonderful banana or zucchini bread and peanut butter cookies..another clever way to get kids to eat it!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

ACT & Closys Q & A

Since ACT coats the teeth, is it better not to use it until bedtime to allow the xylitol to be able to penetrate the teeth during the day?

The dilute sodium fluoride in ACT works "as a catalyst". This means it helps move minerals(from your saliva) into the outer surface of tooth enamel. This building of minerals into the tooth will continue only for as long as the liquid is in contact with the tooth.

ACT does not stop other liquids reaching the tooth. The reason for using ACT last thing at night is that a residue will remain "working" on your teeth while you are sleeping.

Do you know how long xylitol coats the teeth?

This process is not about "coating" teeth. Xylitol works by raising the pH of the mouth. At this alkaline pH, minerals go into the tooth surface. How long the mouth will stay at this alkaline pH will depend on your natural saliva pH.

If we look at a lady with an acidic saliva (pH around 5.5). She may eat some xylitol and make her mouth alkaline. Her teeth will mineralize in this alkaline medium. Now her acidic saliva will return and wash away the alkaline xylitol liquids in her mouth.

Gradually her mouth will return to a pH of 5.5 which is acidic enough to dissolve away minerals from her teeth again.

If the patient was a young man with alkaline saliva, the results would be different. His natural saliva is alkaline and so the mouth would remain alkaline.

Doesn't fluoride get absorbed into the bloodstream sublingually?

ACT is very dilute sodium fluoride. Sodium fluoride is the most stable and most tested of any fluoride compound. You rinse with about a half ounce at a 0.05% concentration. You will spit out almost all of this rinse - leaving just a minute residue.

I do agree that some minute amount of that could be absorbed, but unless you have kidney problems our bodies excrete 98% of fluoride absorbed. I would argue that this poses such a tiny risk compared with other dental toxicity concerns.

Personally I would be more concerned about the toxic effects of plaque. The toxicity of fillings, having filling repairs or the need for sealants etc.

Since Closys washes off right away, how does it heal periodontal pocketing?

A small experiment will describe how it works: Get some dirt and rub it into your hands and under your cuticles.

Wash your hands with water and the dirt will probably remain under your cuticles. Now use some Closys and work it round your fingers. Wash your hands this time and notice how clean they are under the cuticles.

Closys seems to "lift" the dirt away from the spaces between the gums and the teeth in the same way. I think this is mainly a mechanical action.

This is why brushing after the "lift" has occurred is (in my opinion) the best way to use Closys as a Cleanser.

I often joke with people that I treat teeth like skin: you cleanse, tone and moisturize.
-->Closys is the cleanser.
-->Listerine is the toner.
-->ACT is the moisturizer.

(c) 2009 Ellie Phillips, DDS

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Do I need dental cleanings?

Hi Ellie,

Where do you personally stand on dental cleaning? I value your opinion and am thinking about cancelling my cleaning coming up at start of Jan.

Thank you,

Dear AS,

I think that a dental check-up by a concerned and preventive oriented dentist is a wonderful idea.

On the other hand, I try hard to dispel the idea that "cleaning teeth" is going to magically make teeth shinier, like "polishing stones".

There are people who need dental help from a hygienist and his/her equipment, especially if they are forming crusted plaque (tartar) on their teeth. I would hope that these people would start using my system, eat plenty of xylitol and find a way to balance mouth acidity. Once acidity is balanced these deposits should stop forming (slowly over time they will get less and less).

The fact is, many people visit their dentist and have regular 'cleanings" that they do not require for dental health. The more often you have cleanings the more outer surface of your tooth you may be loosing. Cleanings may not be a benefit to your teeth.

So it depends what your cleaning appointment is going to do for you. If you have gum problems, you may need cleaning around difficult teeth. If you have developed calculus under or above the gum this should be cleaned away. I am in no position to determine if you need a cleaning or not. Only your dentist could tell you that.

Is there any way to ask your dentist if you need a cleaning? That is really the person who can answer this question.

Sorry not to be able to help with this but I hope you understand that I it would be wrong for me to give you this advice over a computer screen!

Ellie Phillips, DDS

Tooth Decalcification

Dear Dr. Ellie,

I can't wait to start
the system, so I went out to buy everything today! I've also read about the benefits of using a enamel building toothpaste such as Arm and Hammer Age Defying with liquid calcium. Do you think it's ok to use that toothpaste?


Dear AC,

Personally I only recommend Crest (original). I know that the chemistry of Crest does not interfere with the process. I know that it will not scratch tooth enamel (which is delicate) and it will clean well (some pastes are not worth using and I would say no paste is better than one that scratches your enamel).

I would avoid any paste with baking soda in it.

Unless there are some amazing circumstances we all have enough calcium and minerals in our saliva to mineralize teeth. The idea of adding calcium is rather like the idea of "bleaching" teeth it sounds like it should be good but it is really a great marketing description.

As far as the research I have seen there is little that shows any of these "remineralizing" pastes do anything more than you can achieve with xylitol and ACT.

I cannot tell you about products I have not tried but I do know that Crest Original will work.

Good luck,
Ellie Phillips, DDS

News Release: Hawaii Dental Hygienists' Association (HDHA) Has Recently Endorsed Xylitol As a Good Sugar!

Another Good Step in the Right Direction...

Hawaii Dental Hygienists' Association (HDHA) Has Recently Endorsed Xylitol As a Good Sugar!

Xylitol has also recently been adopted for prevention by the Arizona State Hygienist Association.

It is exciting to learn that the Hygienists of Hawaii have issued their own press release. Of course many of you have been devoted xylitol advocates for decades. Personally, I have waited impatiently for years hoping that dental organizations in the USA would endorse xylitol for dental health. Finally, with the help of xylitol, we should be able to save many from the pain and suffering of dental disease. 2009 should be an exciting year!

If you would like to read more about xylitol and understand how it controls dental disease, you may enjoy "The Power of Xylitol". This Season we are offering a special price of $6.00 and all proceeds from the sale of the book will go to the Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Foundation.

Wishing our Zellies customers a Healthy and Happy Holiday,

Ellie Phillips and the staff of Zellies

Monday, December 15, 2008

Can I heal a cavity?

Hi Dr. Ellie,

I am 33 and never had a cavity until now. 

My father was a dentist but now is retired. I am one of those people who never snack and immediately brush my teeth after eating. It has worked well for me, except at my dental appointment in June, they discovered a small pit cavity on my upper right second molar. 

My father examined it at home and said it was just a small catch and to not get it filled. However he just looked at it again and said it was now a small cavity. He believes I should get it filled because it is so small and would require such a simple filling. I have worked hard to have perfect teeth for 33 years and would like to keep it that way. I have had a very stressful last couple of years. Could this have caused my cavity? 

For the last couple of years I switched from Colgate to Tom's of Maine toothpaste without fluoride. My dad believes fluoride only benefits children's teeth. Also my dad believes mouthwash with alcohol causes oral cancer. My father does not believe teeth can remineralize once there is a hole in the enamel, even if it is small. It is very important to me to keep my teeth cavity free.

Is there anything I can do to heal my cavity?

Thanks so much. 


Dear KB,

Many dentists think like your father.

I can only direct you to read the stories on my website and blog. I can only tell you that my system is great and will help more than you imagine.

Do you think that 6 months of trying the system would be worth any "risk?"

If you read my website you will see that stress is a risk factor for dental disease because your saliva becomes very acidic. Dry mouth is another risk factor and may apply in your case.
I also feel that the use of fluoride as a rinse is very beneficial.

I recommend the use of Crest Original toothpaste and ACT is also an important part of my Complete Mouth Care System.

I use this system myself and thousands of others also use it twice daily. Many people will tell you that this system WORKS!

The fact is that you must decide whom you are going to listen to and I am certainly not going to tell you to disobey your father! I am not sure how I can convince you. Maybe you could convince yourself if you gave the complete system a try!

Good luck
Ellie Phillips DDS
Dental Health for Everyone!
26 Corporate Woods
Rochester NY 14623

Friday, December 12, 2008

Dr. Ellie's Dental System

Dear Dr. Ellie,

I have been avidly reading your blog and I just ordered products from the
zellie website. I am eager to get started with my husband (who has lots
of teeth problems) and my 2 children: my 10-yr old has no cavities so far,
but does have stained teeth, and my 8-yr old was just diagnosed with a
cavity between 2 of his baby teeth. I would like to try to avoid future
cavities for him, and perhaps even avoid having to cap this one.

This is the 3rd dentist I have tried for my kids, in 2 years, and I was
very disheartened. I myself have no cavities (46 yrs old) so have no
experience with them. I was shocked when this dentist devoted no time to
talking about prevention of future cavities for my son, he acted like a
cavity was a normal everyday occurrence, and spent his time talking in
great detail how he would have to file away two teeth to put the composite
in between them.

I could not accept that cavities are unavoidable, and research led me to
your site. I am very excited to try your system.

Here is my question: I know you do not recommend the complete program for
kids, ie it seems like you recommend leaving out the Closys and the
listerine. However,

1) Can I have my son use the Listerine if I want to, to aid in the
efficacy of the Act? (He does swish and spit pretty well). If so, do I
have to dilute it 50:50?

2) Can I have him use the Closys? It seems like its worth it, if only to
create the alkaline mouth environment before he brushes.

In other words, are you saying that the Closys and Listerine are simply
not necessary for kids, or are you saying that they should be avoided for

Thank you very very much!!!!


Dear KN,

Welcome to the Zellies family!

I think that the use of these rinses is not necessary for kids but if they are good rinse and spitters I see no reason why they cannot use them supervised.
My main concern is not to deter kids from enjoying the process of swishing their teeth clean!

My younger children have used the entire system since the age of about 8 and they have stunning teeth (now in their 20s). They never seemed to mind the taste I think one used the orange Listerine and the other the mint. I would dilute to taste and 50-50 may be just about right.

You obviously understand the use of the Listerine and that they don't have to keep it in their mouths very long. The ACT is the rinse to use for a few minutes a timer can be useful to help them understand the differences. I encourage lots of spitting out for the final rinse and not to eat or drink after.

Good luck and please let us know your progress.
If you have any questions you prefer to talk about - please let me know.

Ellie Phillips, DDS

Retardex = Closys

Dear Dr Ellie,

I received my order today, thank you very much. I should have ordered Closys which we haven't got in England. I know you recommended Retardex which a bit of Closys was added. Is it ok to use electric toothbrush? Please advise. Hope to hear from you.

Many thanks
MJ - England


Retardex appears to be exactly the same formula as Closys. You can use it in place of Closys.
Also I have no preference about brushes except that they work for you and that they are kept spotlessly clean. I developed a manual toothbrush that seems very popular and does a great cleaning job without any damage.

Many people use brushes that are difficult to use well so they do not clean teeth properly with them.

Here is a link to my feelings about toothbrushing:

Hope this answers your questions.

Have a great day,

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

My Gums are Receding!

Dear Dr. Ellie:

I just noticed that my gums are receding, can you make my gums grow back? can your product help me?and how?


My first question would be to know if you have been bleaching your teeth with white strips or toothpaste + whitener?


Also eliminate any products with baking soda or peroxide. I know so many people with receding gums from these products.

The system that I recommend will help reduce gum infection another possible factor that can result in gums receding. The system will help sensitivity and also build strength into teeth.
My system cannot claim to re-grow gums but this may slowly happen on its own to some degree.

It is important to get rid of any infection and keep your gums clean and healthy.

The chances of achieving success depend on what caused this problem to happen. I tried the white strips years ago when they came on the market and "burnt" my gums with the peroxide.

I only used them once on lower teeth but you cannot imagine how upset I was because I had "perfect" gums at the time. The damage has reversed because it was a one time event and the gums were healthy before so they "regrew" just like any healed wound.

If your damage has been caused by years of gum disease this may not be quite the same story. I do not know your age or your gender and other factors such as whether you have recently been stressed or pregnant. These factors paint a picture that would help reflect the possible reasons why you have this problem.

No matter the reason I would suggest that you start using the system that I recommend and also get an evaluation from a dentist who will check your gums. If they tell you that you have deep pockets and sub-gingival calculus (crusty deposits under the gums) then it would be good to have a professional cleaning to remove this debris. This will make it more likely that your gums will heal up again.

You are sensible to be worried. I would be happy to answer any other questions you may have that I have not addressed.

My advice would be to make changes quickly but be patient in wanting results. Give yourself at least four months before you get worried that this is permanent. Write on a calendar the day that you start and also mark four months from that date. Make sure you use 100 percent xylitol and give up on products with sorbitol. Protect your mouth from acidity as much as you can.

I know this is lots of advice, but the changes are really very simple. Good luck.

Let me know if I can help more.

Ellie Phillips, DDS