Thursday, March 31, 2011

Age Discrimination?

Hi Ellie
From your blog (emphasis added):
= = = = =

Closys toothpaste . . . is really good for gums - and works for OLD PEOPLE who would never use the rinses.

Maybe you can give it to an ELDERLY AUNT. . .

= = = = =

Ellie, the crucial variable is not the number of candles on the birthday cake, but the ability and willingness to learn and consistently follow an unfamiliar routine. As I think your own comments on your blog repeatedly illustrate, that ability/willingness can be lacking in people of all ages.

It was only a day or so ago that I remarked to you that my wife of forty+ years was not detail-oriented enough even to consistently do oil pulling. But that is not because she's 70 but because she's as non-detail-oriented now as she was at 23.

Ellie, I'm really surprised that so empathetic and insightful a person as yourself could lapse into ageist rhetoric. It was only a thoughtless moment, I'm sure.
Your continuing admirer,

Hi J, 

I did not have enough time to get back to you earlier - but I do have a response!!( of course)

I generally assume that the people I am working with, are trying to care for their teeth.

(I don't pay much attention to people who don't care - I don't have enough time or energy for them).

Many people come to me - and they want help or questions answered. Difficulties occur sometimes

1) when people cannot grasp the system - it is too different from what they have been brainwashed to think tooth cleaning should be.

2) when people will not give up time to learn - (even though in the grand scheme it would save them years of problems with teeth and health in the future).

3) when people don't trust or believe - I can't help them either ( I used to try - but don't do this any more).

4) there are people who want help, they grasp the concept but they either cannot deal with purchasing all these product or they cannot remembering the sequence to use the rinses.

These people are usually older.

So when I have this genre of client - I just focus on the Closys as a rinse or as a toothpaste ( + Zellies of course) - and forget the other rinses.

I would say this is my approach to someone in a nursing home, with dementia, in hospice or with deteriorating arthritis.

Gum disease does not routinely become a life-threatening problem until people reach the age of 50-60 years old ( unless they really don't care about their teeth at all).

Gum disease will have more systemic impact on general health than anything else for these people - so it is important to focus on ways that will help them THE MOST.

My comment was that if you know someone in this situation - give them your spare Closys toothpaste - ( it is often included in the purchase of Closys mouth rinse.)

Don't waste it - (literally) it could help save a life.

If you have younger folks in your family who won't use the system - give THEM regular Crest Paste and a big bag of Zellies!

These young folks don't need the Closys - since THEY are far more at risk for cavities than they are for any systemic fallout from periodontal disease.

Hope this explains - why "old" actually describes the genre of folks who most need Closys toothpaste - and why you should donate any spare product to them.

Thanks for picking up the point - but be assured I was not using agist rhetoric - this is dentistry oral-systemic fact!!

Thanks so much for being interested in discussion!


Questions from a Dentist

The following are questions from a dentist and Dr. Ellie's responses in Red
I have been recommending Trident with Xylitol for my dry mouth patients for years. I also contains Sorbitol, and I know you do not like it. What is wrong with it?

-->Sorbitol nullifies the remineralizing effects of xylitol - so you don't get cavity repair. On the second or third stick of gum - plaque strep mutans are able to process sorbitol and use it as an energy source to grow and multiply. Often patients who eat a lot of sorbitol have gingivitis, plaque and acid reflux. The correlation makes me feel that acid reflux symptoms in some cases may be from a kind of acid producing bacteria in the esophagus - but I can't prove this. Symptoms often go away when patients switch to 100 percent xylitol products. Flavor cannot last as long in a pure xylitol gum. Flavors only attach to these artificial sweeteners - plus they are cheaper - which explains why companies use them.

Do you like Ice Cubes Gum. It has Xylitol and Mannitol.

-->Mannitol can give people bad gastric discomfort, gas and bloating at very low doses. Same thing with sorbitol. This kind of gastric discomfort is not found with xylitol. If anyone thinks they are sensitive - just advise a very small dose of xylitol directly after meals.

When you say “rinse” with the mouth washes, how long with each one, is it just a quick swish or what, need answer for each wash.

-->Closys is like a bath for the periodontal ligaments. 1-2 minutes is not excessive for someone who is battling gingivitis or perio problems. A healthy mouth may need less time. Anyone wanting to lighten teeth and reduce stains - use Closys 1-2 minutes for a little longer effect. Bad breath - go for the 1-2 minutes.

Listerine is "liquid floss" and you only need one vigorous swish - swished in and out between the teeth - as if the liquid were doing the flossing. 30 secs is enough - this is a rinse being used for cleaning and to quickly eliminate gingivitis - but we must not forget it is acidic in the mouth. (Listerine has a pH of 4.2)
ACT rinse is "moisutrizer" / "tooth lotion" /a soothing and healing rinse. AT LEAST 30 seconds - but longer for someone with an acidic mouth, someone under stress, with hormone imbalance, diabetic, or with a dry mouth, or fragile, eroded teeth. Anyone with cavities should aim for 1-2 minutes of ACT rinse since this will give more healing. This rinse will make teeth smoother, more comfortable, shiny and more acid- resistant.
At what depth do you consider inter proximal decay too deep to try to recalcify. Also how do I determine the same question about root decay, say at the margin of a crown? How long does it usually take?

-->As far as I know there are no documented studies that use xylitol, fluoride and antibacterial rinses. This complete system is quite incredible in my experience. We need to start documenting results.

I have little problem using this system to HALT the disease. Then check in 4-6 months. If the retake of the X rays show mineralization - and no progression - then try another 6 months. In geriatric patients, who did not have caries treated, if the caries process has halted - secondary dentin will form and block tubules - so I am not concerned. I think sensitivity is the method of deciding what to fill and when to wait. You need a willing patient of course.

Thanks for your nice answer to my earlier questions. I am always very anxious to learn anything that will help my patients. I hate doing anything to the natural tooth, it always starts a pattern of up keep and usually some type of decline. Margins do not stay perfect even if they start perfect. I want to produce healthy mouths, not repaired mouths.

Please keep teaching me!


Dear Ellie,

My wife (Sue) has just been to see her dental hygienist who is impressed with the state of her mouth, was v interested in your system, has told my wife she can now come in 6 instead of 4 months, and has said she will buy your book and speak to the dentist in the surgery about it!
I'm seeing the same hygienist & dentist in 2 weeks time... let's hope my results are as good
Thank you!!!

Hi D,
What great news!!!

If you have seen such improvements, I am sure you will only continue to be MORE delighted as the years go on.

The good improvement means you have balanced your oral health - even though you had to search a bit for products, living in UK.

Congratulations - you found this system by looking and being sufficiently interested to give it a try.
Thanks so much for your vote of confidence in me and for following my suggestions.

Don't forget to clean those toothbrushes!
On the website we actually have a new brush that I am promoting now - it is antibacterial.

I am not sure if it is available in UK - the brand is Mouthwatchers

Best Wishes - and please keep in touch!


Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Xylitol Question

Hello Dr. Ellie

I am a 30yr old female who has always had small teeth but over the years from acid wear they have eroded to the point of having no enamel or very little in some cases, my teeth have worn down a lot as well. I like my smile and have grown accustomed to it over the years and do not want caps or veneers but every time I see a dentist they make me feel like they are so horrible, I understand that they are worn but I don’t think they look as horrible as they make them sound. I feel like I have lost hope and then read your article about Xylitol. Can this help me? And where do I buy it? and how do I take it? is it a powder, or a liquid?…I know it is a form of sweetener, would I put this in my food? and how much would I need?

Thank you very much for your time,

Hi M,

Many dentists are trained to "see" what they are trained to "see".

I agree with you that they often make suggestions according to textbooks - rather than real life.

I personally think that there are natural "malocclusions" that look pretty - and better than a straight row of fake teeth (even great crowns or veneers are not real tooth enamel).

I know a number of dentists who have given THEMSELVES teeth that I hope I never EVER need or have to have made for me! Ha!

I do not want to be critical of the "standard" of care - since most crowns and veneers are excellent - but if your own teeth will provide your smile - why change it?

I agree with you!

My system of using xylitol and specific mouth rinses will certainly help your oral health.

The products may not DO anything too dramatic - but it will keep you from loosing more enamel and will offer natural protection to your teeth.

Do you know where the acid came from that wore down your teeth? It is good to know - so that you can be sure to protect your teeth from this with xylitol.

I advised a lady who used to suck lemons - all day.

She had worn away all her enamel with the lemons.

She still sucks lemons - but eats xylitol  usually a Zellies fruit mint) immediately after the lemon.

The secret is to PROTECT your teeth - all day long.

You may enjoy my book Kiss Your Dentist Goodbye - it is an easy read and available at or on Amazon.

I hope this helps - the system is easy but you MUST use the products in the exact way they are described ( like a cake recipe!!)

See my website for some downloadable booklets and one page descriptions.

Best Wishes and I will be interested to hear how this works for you.

Please keep in touch,

Dr. Ellie Phillips DDS
Solutions for Oral Health

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Apple Cider Vinegar and Water Oral Rinse?

Good Morning Dr. Phillips!

Just heard on the highly rated "The Doctors" T.V. program for bad breath is to use 1 teaspoon of Apple Cider Vinegar (not white vinegar) and stir into one glass of water. Then oral rinse (not swallow) with solution before spitting out. I can understand the thought of vinegar killing the bacteria, but what about the acid and it's direct effect upon the outer surface of the teeth? Hmmm... Have a great weekend and I will look forward to your professional feedback once again!

Health Educator

Dear RL

There may be lots of ways to reach a state of oral health, but I cannot comment since I do not use it, have no records of long-term effects from using cider vinegar and I am clueless what it may or may not do in the short or long term!

I know a lot of health professionals recommend products that don't work and even recommend ones that damage teeth!

I only recommend products that I KNOW BEYOND ANY DOUBT can help everyone.

I recommend products that will clean up teeth and sustain oral health for decades and decades - and can be used by adults of any age.

What more could I need?

Thanks for your question.

I would ask the 'doctors" how they propose to convince you that this product WORKS.

Ask them for the long-term effects ( decades later - how do teeth treated like this LOOK and FEEL?)

If they don't look young, healthy and wonderful - then I am not interested!

That is my two cents' worth!!


Canada & Dr. Ellie's System

Hello there

I was interested in trying out your system. I have to fillings that are pretty large located as an MOD on my 54 and 64 (primary 6 year molars … yep, I never lost . Anyway, I am currently at the end of my journey for ortho, and would like to start using your system to keep these two little teeth as long as possible. I currently have been using the crest you prescribe, and then rinse after with Listerine, followed by fluorinse (it’s a daily fluoride rinse from oral b….is that okay to be using? Because I can’t find ACT in Canada). Also, We do not have closys here either. Is there something manufactured in Canada that is comparable and as effective as closys.

P.S. My fillings have been feeling higher lately, is it possible that my teeth are starting to repair and pushing the filling out?

Thank you so much for all your help.


Hi L,

I am not sure why your teeth would be feeling higher - this would be more likely something to do with the ortho tooth movement you have been working on with your orthodontist.

My system will look after your teeth and your gums.

Don't forget you need xylitol - plenty of it for the system to work.

Xylitol makes plaque slippery - so the rinses can wash it away!!

Try to read about the suggestions on

Closys in UK is called Retardex - and that may be the same in Canada.

You can find the company on the internet ( ROWPAR) and ask them what to do.

Amazon does sell to Canada I think.

We had a blog post about this so I will copy my web host on this message and see if she can connect you with the discussion from last year. 
(*** Web Manager Note: see this link:

Let us know how everything works out for you.

Enjoy your teeth and your ultimate oral health - from now and into the future!

Best Wishes,

Dr.Ellie Phillips DDS
Solutions for Oral Health

Green Tea, Gray Teeth, Rinsing Time, etc...

Below is a note from one of Dr. Ellie's readers and Dr. Ellie's answers in CAPS. 

Hi Ellie,

Thank you so much for your great work and information. I have been doing your regimen for about 4 weeks now. I am so glad I have more guidance in this arena and know now about the PH factors, etc.

Some questions for you:

-I am a big green tea drinker in the morning. How long should I wait after brushing/rinsing before drinking my tea?

 - you say a quick rinse with Listerine, at 30 secs max. Doesnt it take 30 secs minimum to kill the bacteria? confused about this part..
- I wear a bite guard and have been told it is autoimmune? Not sure what this means? I would love to stop using it at some point but my teeth have been badly damaged from grinding apparently. Any info you can give me about this?



- I have a lot of pockets so I rinse for 2 mins with Closys, and follow the rest religiously, will they go away eventually?


- I have a gray tint to my teeth and I have not seen anything in your literature about gray vs yellow. Will they whiten too as they get healthier?

- I have bonding on my 2 front teeth to make them whiter. Can I eventually have it taken off as my teeth strengthen? 

Thanks again,


ps you are welcome to post this to your blot, I tried but it did not work.

Xylitol in Water

Dear Dr. Ellie:

Hi there, since we last spoke I've been using your system for the past couple months. I'm not always able to use the system every 12 hours because of my work schedule, so hopefully that doesn't set my progress back too much. 

Lately I have been putting 2 teaspoons of xylitol in a bottle of water and drinking it throughout the day. This is not my regular drinking water since I drink much more water on a daily basis, but I do use the xyiltol water frequently throughout the day until it is gone. Last time we talked you said that the effects of xylitol are topical. How much does concentration matter? 

For example: If I need 2 teaspoons a day, 6 servings a day would be 1/3 teaspoon each serving. OR the other scenario would be 2 teaspoons a day in a bottle of water, but much less concentration in each dose, probably 20 or so swallows before the bottle is empty. Does this matter? When I drink the water I normally swish it around in my mouth for a minute before swallowing. I dont know if the effects are the same as with what you describe with ACT, the longer it has contact with the teeth, the better. Anyways, I think I'm doing okay, probably just overanalyzing! I really do appreciate your research once again, and always look forward to reading your postings on the blog!


Hi T,

Thanks for your question about xylitol in water - it is a good one!
Dilution does not matter - because it is all about frequency - the more frequent - the better.
Yes - swishing around is great! Congratulations - you have this going very well.

It is fascinating to me how xylitol is the complete opposite of regular sugar.
With regular sugar, the most damage occurs when you "nibble" a little sugar often - or sip at sugary drinks.
A quarter pound of sugar eaten all at once - ( it may damage your health) - but your teeth would not be damaged.

Compare sugar with xylitol:
The frequent "nibbling" of sugar - in tiny amounts - causes devastating tooth damage and cavities. The frequent "nibbling" of xylitol - in tiny amounts - strengthens and protects your teeth from plaque and cavities!

Wild isn't it?

Thanks again for the question,

Dr. Ellie Phillips DDS
Solutions for Oral Health

Mouth Care System

Dear Dr. Ellie:

I am having dental work done at a Dental school in Illinois.

After showing them you Mouth Care System Regiment from your book, I told them I wanted to try to help myself and asked for their input from my dentist.

This was their comment:

We don't see any benefits, couldn't find any studies about the use of chlorine dioxide rinses benefits

And suggested may be you get some monetary benefits from promoting it.

Please respond.


I suggest that you visit either my blog - or look at the comments on in the section where they review my book Kiss Your Dentist Goodbye.

I have a xylitol company called Zellies but I have no monetary benefit WHATSOEVER from recommending the other products.

Closys has a lot of good studies about their product on their website- visit their website

I HAVE NO CONNECTION with this company - the product is simply terrific.

Why do I do what I do?

I do what I do because I am a doctor and I have discovered a cure for this disease.

I will copy two dentist friends of mine about this message - and ask him if they have time to endorse me.

Both these dentists are new acquaintances of mine - we met a few months ago.

They have both tried my system and recommend it now in their practice.

I will also post this message on my blog - and maybe some former "clients" of mine can let you know that I simply CARE!

Alternatively give this a try and show them!! Ha!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


Dr. Ellie, 

Thank you for your advice and suggestions. I’ll let you know how I get on.

I did wonder, though, whether the xylitol was knocking out the good bacteria as well as the bad – rather like antibiotics do. It just seems strange to me that I would get oral thrush when I had been using xylitol in the recommended amounts for six months. I would have thought that it would have protected me, especially as I am in good health and haven’t taken any antibiotics for years.

Best wishes,

Hi S,

Xylitol could not be the problem. Xylitol does the exact opposite.

I liken xylitol to "food" to help grow and develop healthy biofilm for your mouth.

If healthy biofilm has disappeared for some reason - it takes more than xylitol to "re-grow" it - but xylitol will help.

In addition to xylitol , you need plenty of saliva and a way to "supply" healthy bacteria.

Let me explain how it works - since it is similar to growing a new lawn!

Imagine trying to repair a patch of lawn - where grass has warn away or been destroyed for some reason.

To grow new grass you have two choices - 1) let it spread from the surrounding grassy areas or 2) grow new lawn from seed.

To get new grass to spread into a denuded area, you need strong-growing grass around the patch.

The surrounding grass must be healthy enough to spread fast and reclaim the missing area ( in the mouth this source of healthy bacteria is provided by a healthy digestive tract and immune system).

If the surrounding grass is not strong enough for this, you need to "seed" the patch with healthy seeds ( in the mouth this would be probiotics - to help anyone with a weak digestive or immune system).

You also need minerals and water to help the grass grow ( in the mouth the nutrients to grow healthy biofilm are in saliva and from your diet).

Xylitol is EXTRA nutrition for this "new lawn" and it helps grow healthy biofilm as it prevents any "weeds" you do not want.

There are many things that "knock out" healthy biofilm.

The obvious ones are antibiotics, a cleaning at the dentist - but also strong acids ( oxalic acid in spinach and rhubarb for example) can take away this healthy biofilm.

Baking soda and peroxide are "classics" and if anyone is using these, a one-time treatment may be OK - but unless healthy biofilm is re-established quickly, lack of protection can lead to serious gum recession and tooth loss.

For your current problems:

Try to increase frequency of xylitol, make sure you are not getting contaminated with molds, and promote healthy biofilm with good diet and probiotics.

Give yourself a couple of weeks - and if this does not clear up the problem - you should seek medical assistance and get blood work done to check further.

Best Wishes,


Tuesday, March 22, 2011

How Long? - Mouthrinses

Dr. Ellie,

How long should we rinse with Closys, Listerine and Act?

Are you saying no water rinse after brushing w/ toothpaste?


Dear A:

The mouth rinses serve different purposes and so they are used accordingly:

Closys is creating "oxygen bubbles" (not exactly - but concept is this) so give it a little time to work around any teeth with periodontal or gum issues.

1 minute is good but if you have gum issues 2 minutes would be better.

If your mouth is healthy with no gum problems 30-60 seconds will clean and prepare teeth for brushing.

Next you will brush your teeth with the Crest CAVITY PROTECTION toothpaste. Spit out the toothpaste but leave the residue - don't wash it away.

This toothpaste residue will "protect" your teeth from the Listerine.

Listerine is a quick and vigorous rinse. Think of it as liquid flossing!

It is the best rinse to quell any gum inflammation and stop any bleeding.

Listerine rinse will wash away plaque bacteria (since the xylitol makes them slippery).

Vigorous swishing - short 30 secs max.

Final rinse with ACT should be long and leisurely - to let the ACT work and strengthen teeth.

Spit out well - but try not to eat or drink for a while after - to ensure the newly remineralized enamel has a chance to harden and not get washed away.

Best Wishes,


UK Toothpaste

Dear Ellie

We are greatly enjoying your book.

We are in the UK and looking for a toothpaste.

You recommend Crest cavity protection toothpaste which is only sold in the US (we can get it on but it ships from NY)

I wonder what you think of Bioetene Dry Mouth toothpaste

which has xylitol and says it contains:

per 100g: Sorbitol Glycerin (of vegetable origin) Calcium Pyrophosphate Hydrated Silica Beta-d-glucose Cellulose Gum Isoceteth-20 Xylitol Sodium Monoflourophosphate (Cavity Inhibitor) Aroma Sodium Benzoate Potassium Thiocyanate Lactoferrin (16mg) Lysozyme

You also suggest on your site that UK residents can use "Colgate rinse - Fluorigard will work for you. Fluorigard is available at Boots and you should choose the ALCOHOL FREE version".

But this contains Sorbitol! Isn't that a problem?

(pretty well everything dental sold in the UK shops seems to have Sorbitol)


Dear DC

Sorbitol in the rinse is not an issue (not ideal but not an issue).

Sorbitol is a problem when it is consumed (horrible gastric issues) when it is mixed with xylitol (prevents remineralization) and when it is consumed often in sorbitol gum or foods (since on the third stick of gum it will start to GROW plaque).

In toothpaste - or as a rinse as part of my system - you have none of this issues.

The rinse routine is to strengthen and protect your teeth.

Xylitol during the day will promote a healthy oral environment (which is a different purpose but of course it works synergistically with the rinses).

Thanks so much for the interest and questions,

Dr. Ellie Phillips DDS
Solutions for Oral Health

Deep Pockets

Dear Ellie

My hygienist told me to use Corsodyl to improve my gums (deep pockets) which I use every day when I first wake up in the morning. (Chlorhexidine Digluconate, with other ingredients: Hydropropylcellulose, macrogolglycerol, hydroxystearate, sodium acetate, levomenthol, peppermint oil, isopropyl alcolhol and water). It says it is an antibacterial agent. Should I stop using it, or should I leave out one of your steps, or should I continue it as well as your full program?

We've bought (in the US, in the past) Tom's Whole Care toothpaste what do you think of that one?

Thanks again for all your work in this area

best wishes


Hi D,

I cannot get between any professional advice you have been given - so I cannot comment.

Any comment about products you have been told to use would not be ethical or professional.

If you trust your dentist - and he/she has maintained your mouth in perfect oral health - then you must be in good hands.

I work with people who are being given poor advice.

People who have suffered - listening to advice - while their teeth fall apart!

These people have often been blamed for not flossing, or told their fillings are old, or told THEY are the problem.

Suddenly there is a new product that you are told to use - Hmmmmm.

My products are PREVENTIVE - they work for emergencies - but I recommend people start on my program BEFORE they have any issues!!

I also help unfortunate folks who have tried all the advice they have been given - yet they still have pockets, periodontal disease, broken fillings and sensitive teeth.

I try to explain to these people - that they have NOT been looked after.

I explain that THEY are NOT the problem.

What they need to do is to stop listening to the bad advice - since obviously this advice does not work.

I tell these people to put away all the sensitive toothpaste, plaque control toothpaste, strong and ugly rinses, expensive remineralizing pastes (which have little or no science to back up claims) and all the products that contain baking soda or peroxide. All these products are making the task of achieving oral health more difficult - many are damaging healthy pellicle (biofilm) - a natural covering over teeth - necessary for oral health. Pellicle forms from saliva proteins to cover our teeth and mouth. This film is nature's way of protecting teeth and our mouths.

Many, many products recommended by dental professionals can damage this pellicle/biofilm.

If you want to know if your hygienist understands this VITAL bio-chemistry of the mouth - call up and ask this question:" Does XXX product damage the pellicle on my teeth?"

If there is a silence - you will know the answer.

As far as my system goes: if it is used in its entirety - exactly the way I recommend - IT WORKS.

I cannot advise if you mix and match - I doubt if you will have such amazing results.

If you lived in the US I would tell you to put all your old products away and use ONLY the products I recommend - in the order I recommend.

Retardex is an amazing product - and works exactly like Closys.

I know that when you combine the products I RECOMMEND - exactly - the results are STUNNING.

Pockets will repair and disappear - completely.

I have many people - who have returned to their dentist - to receive a WOW - WHAT HAVE YOU BEEN DOING!

Two ladies ( not related to each other) have recently saved a total of $6,000 in periodontal treatments - just by using the system.

Hope this helps a bit!


Oral Thrush

Hi, Dr. Ellie,

My problem is that I developed oral thrush six months after starting to use xylitol (‘Perfect Sweet, 100% granulated xylitol) and it is proving to be very difficult to get rid off. I have had it for almost three months. I haven’t been ill, apart from a mild dose of flu at Christmas; I haven’t been on antibiotics and I haven’t changed my diet. I understand from your blog that xylitol works against thrush, so I can’t understand why I have developed this unpleasant disorder. Apart from that, my health is very good. I would appreciate your comments.

With thanks.


Hi SP,

If you were my patient - I would suggest you increase the amount and frequency of xylitol.

(I would also suggest you pay close attention to the oral care products that you are using - and I would suggest the routine I recommend.

Closys is known as Retardex in UK).

Listerine is an important component - to improve the health of oral mucosa ( the skin of the mouth).

Crest Cavity Protection paste and ACT will protect your teeth from the acidity of the Listerine.

You must clean and dry your toothbrush between each use - and keep away from toilets and from other people.

Listerine is the best way to clean a brush - swish in Listerine (full strength) rinse out and allow to completely dry between uses.

It is ideal to dry a toothbrush in sunlight.

In addition, pay close attention to your diet - fish oil, coconut oil (small amounts during the day) and make sure you have enough vitamin C.

You may want to consider probiotics - ask in your health food store.

Get into some sunshine yourself (maybe sit outside with your toothbrush!)

Finally make sure to clean any bathroom area where you clean your teeth or store your brush - very thoroughly.

Make sure you clean any stand or cup where you store your toothbrush.

This is a great time to use baking soda for cleaning your bathroom

(Baking soda is NEVER recommended for your mouth - but it is a great cleaner to remove molds in bathrooms and kitchens).

More xylitol, good oral care products (ENSURE no peroxide or baking soda in any of them).

Clean away any trace of mold from any of your bathroom area or any of your toothbrushes or storage utensils.

This should help.


Friday, March 18, 2011

Children's Teeth


I wrote you a few months ago, regarding your system for my 3 year old. I followed your advice and it's now been 3 months on the system. We went to the dentist today for a checkup and he told me that the small cavity "hadn't progressed much". Should I expect something more after 3 months? Or is it normal to not see progress until after 6 months?

Here is our routine, morning and night after meals:

- brush with Oral-B Cars kids toothpaste

- rinse with water

- rinse with ACT kids

Sip water after snacks and food with xylitol (1 tsp). Add xylitol to milk (1/2 to 1 tsp, but he might not drink all of that milk). Eat a little spoon of xylitol after meals (just started that this week).


Hi C,

I am concerned that a 3 year old is young to be rinsing properly with the ACT rinse.

Make sure your son can rinse and spit safely - so as not to be drinking the rinse.

I think adding a little more xylitol to the end of each meal is important. I wonder if you have had a chance to read my book and understand what causes cavities.

Your entire family must be on this program - otherwise you may be re-infecting your son with cavity bacteria.

You do not talk about cleaning toothbrushes - but this is vital.

Finally I am not aware of the exact ingredients in this kids toothpaste - check them out carefully.

I generally advise to either use a rice-grain amount of adult Crest Cavity Protection toothpaste or none at all.  In place of the paste, just apply a drop of ACT onto the toothbrush to moisten it.

Hope this helps,


System Question

Dear Ellie,

I have been using your system for about a month now. I looked in the mirror today and noticed that the back of my top front teeth all have very dark brown spots on them. Is this decay or something that is normal with your system. I have also noticed the roof of my mouth is very dark. I have been brushing and flossing religiously, and now I'm very concerned. Any information you could share with me would be appreciated.

Thank You very much!


Hi AT,

My first thought:

Look closely at the products you are using (unless you purchased a kit from us) and make sure you have the correct toothpaste.

Crest Cavity Protection paste is very different from Crest Pro Health - which I do NOT recommend.

Lots of dentist-handed-out pastes and some of the rinses they recommend will stain teeth.

Pro Health and many other pastes contain stannous fluoride.

I recommend sodium fluoride.

These two items sound similar but behave in very different ways.

Stannous fluoride will stain teeth and often cause mouth sensitivity - and in my opinion should not be used.

Time Line:

Assuming that you have the exact products I recommend in the exact order then we will look for a different reason for staining.

Here is a time-line of how my system works, which may be helpful:

I wonder what was the condition of your teeth before you started this system - did you have a lot of plaque?

As you can see from the time line - xylitol will eliminate harmful bacteria and plaque from your teeth during the first month.

Your gums will heal and become super-healthy - but the dead plaque sometimes is tightly attached to your teeth at the gum line ( their sticky tendrils are embedded in the cement layer on the root of your teeth).

It will take one visit at the dentist to clean this stain layer away - and during that visit you should receive accolades for the improvement in your oral health.

Here is a link to this discussion from my website - scroll to the bottom of the page and read the last paragraph:

Two last points.

Plaque bacteria are contagious - which means they spread from person to person.

If you have a close relationship (kissing or sharing food) with someone who is infected and not on my system - these people/person will keep re-infecting you.

If you keep getting staining it may be that those around you need to start using the system for their own health!

Make sure you keep your toothbrush safe and away from any possible contamination.

Clean your brush regularly in a little Listerine (it makes bacteria slippery) rinse in water (to clean) then dry completely between brushing (bacteria die when they dry).

Hope this helps!


Closys Toothpaste

Dear Dr. Ellie:

I bought closys, crest, Listerine & act. – Clolys came with a free toothpaste- do you have an opinion on it? I also will check out your site.

In the meantime, should I use crest and clolys in am and crest, Listerine & act at night or vice versa?



Hi A,

You want to use all three rinses - in a simple, smooth routine - morning and night:

The routine is

Closys - Brush with Crest - Listerine - ACT

There is no water rinsing in between the steps: one follows the other.

The result should make you say "WOW my mouth feels terrific!".

If you don't say and feel this - something is wrong -and I will help you figure out what is the problem.

Closys toothpaste is not a bad paste ( the ONLY other paste that I would ever agree to someone using. The rest deserve to go in the trash!)

BUT you cannot use it as part of my system since it does not offer any protection to the teeth.

It is really good for gums - and works for old people who would never use the rinses.

Maybe you can give it to an elderly aunt or someone disabled with gum problems.

Hope this explains,


Discomfort in Gums

Hi Dr. Ellie,

In the last week and a half I've had discomfort in my upper gums that I cannot account for and I'm hoping you can offer some advice.

Prior to using your system, I had lots of sensitivity at the gumline when I would eat or drink anything hot or cold or acidic but that disappeared shortly after using your system twice a day.

A week and a half ago I had discomfort in my gums (for the first time in years) as soon as I started eating frozen yogurt. Not only did the cold penetrate right into the gumline (like it had before I started your system), but it also hurt - it felt like lots of needles poking me - on the higher portions all over my upper gums (which I've never experienced). Since then I have had that same needle poking feeling often, particularly when I drink tea (herbal). Just to make sure I was using the right products, I checked my ACT and Listerine bottles today and they are the correct ones (ACT is alcohol free and ADA approved, and I have the regular Listerine which is ADA approved) so now I'm stumped. 

Hi LL,

My immediate thought is that there is a change in your general health, although there is a laundry list of reasons that your teeth may be experiencing more damage.

A small change in diet can increase mouth acidity and mouth dryness (of any kind) will damage teeth - especially if it occurs at night.

Whatever caused the changes - you have the tools to stop the damage and reverse it!

Possible Causes:

This can be because of stress, or hormonal changes, talking more, different diet with more acidity ( food or drinks) or just some kind of worry.

If you have any new medication, allergies or even a cold it can cause you to breathe through your mouth and this will dry your mouth.

A course of antibiotics, exposure to foods like spinach or rhubarb ( they contain oxalic acid) or even eating a lot of citrus can damage the healthy film that normally covers and protects your teeth.

Increase your Xylitol:

To combat the increase in "risk/damaging factors" you need to pump up the "good/healing treatments"

You may want to add granular xylitol to your day - maybe a teaspoon in a water bottle to sip during the day.

Keep eating your Zellies after meals etc - but protect your teeth more - with the xylitol-water during the in-between hours.

Zellies chewing gum can be a particularly good "healer" and sometimes seems better than mints for healing sensitivity - although I am not a big gum chewer - and I don't think you are either.

Keep Flossing to a Minimum

I am not sure if you floss - but if you do, be very gentle, keep it to a minimum and perhaps give yourself a flossing holiday to see if this makes things better.

I am assuming that you are using Closys before you brush - Crest Cavity Protection toothpaste and the other rinses in the system ( with no water rinsing in between).

If the above suggestions do not help then add one extra rinse with ACT rinse during the day - after lunch.

The sensitivity is a warning sign - and your teeth are calling for more help.

Xylitol and my system are the "help" your teeth need.

Just give them a little more help than you usually do - and they will heal up again nicely!

Last things:

Fish oil supplements, vitamin C supplements ( but protect your teeth from any and all citrus acidity with a Zellies mint) and get out in some sunshine for some vitamin D.

You may also want to consider probiotics - ask in your local health food store.

Best wishes,


Thursday, March 17, 2011

Violight Testing

Dear Dr. Ellie:

I thought you might like to read this test done on the Violight sanitizer.


Hi M,

This is interesting .

I wish they would compare all kinds of disinfection ( and blind testing would make this research stronger)

It would be interesting to have someone test toothbrushes that have been disinfected with Listerine, through the dishwasher or in Violight - and compare.

I think being aware of the problem is the first success.

Now we have to help people learn that cavities and gum disease are a transmissible disease - and that disinfection of toothbrushes is worth doing!

Thanks again for this link - I will post it on my blog.


Tooth Color

Dear Dr. Ellie:

I just read the post from a person whose teeth are supposedly now more yellow since they've been on your system - much darker than a crown that had been placed.

My daughter and I have been on your system since Sept 2010 and our teeth look as white as ever. I say only as white as ever since we used to use Listerine Whitening rinse, but no more. I was concerned about stopping that process since I drink so much coffee and wine, but honestly at 59 years old, my teeth are more shiny and "white" looking than ever. Same for my 24 year old daughter. I follow the system to the letter as in your book, which I bought and plan to donate to the public library since I've finished it. My daughter does not use the Closys.

I really am puzzled when I read about people who say they are using your system whose teeth turn yellow or have brown stains on them. I generally assume these are people trying to have "day-glo" white teeth or something. I have experienced none of that... only a cleaner, shiner, fresher mouth. I have tooth colored plastic fillings and they don't "stand out" as being different colored at all. Everything is even. Also I no longer have morning breath which I thought was "natural". I also get basically nothing when I use my tongue scraper now. I still use it because some things that I eat seem to leave me with a slightly coated tongue. I scrape and floss before I do your system, as you say in the book to go from one to the next without interruption.

I think of it as a moment of grace when I found your site and learned about xylitol - its so good for so many things! Anyway, I just want to thank you again and make sure you know there are plenty of people on your system who have no tooth color problems.


Hi S,

I keep most of the messages I receive over the years - filed in a special file.

I can go back when I hear stories like this lady with "more yellow teeth" and find old messages where she never did not like the idea of using ACT - nor Crest - and had her own ideas about other products.

(I think her dentist had recommended Biotene - which is actually acidic - and will only add to dental problems).

When I investigated another story of a lady who was not successful - she was making her own Closys. I have not idea what this was doing to her mouth and it was definitely NOT my recommendation!

I often have to reply several times when people have fear or concerns about the use of my syste.

I believe these people are usually never convinced, never confident and rarely use my system as a complete system - somehow they cannot believe.

If you are protecting and strengthening your teeth with my system - there is NO WAY for your teeth to darken.

The concept of color is explained in the chapter on whitening in Kiss Your Dentist Goodbye - and I explain how tooth color is all about reflection.

If your teeth LOOK darker - or become more sensitive - then you must strengthen your teeth - which you do as you increase frequency of xylitol/Zellies.

I think sometimes people use the wrong kind of xylitol.

One person was using Trident ( unaware that it had insufficient xylitol and that the sorbitol was counter-acting remineralization).

If you use ZELLIES and the products I recommend - you will get a wonderful outcome.

I put this lady's message on the blog - so that I would get feedback and perhaps highlight the fact that only IF PEOPLE FOLLOW MY RECIPE will experience the dental health they desire!

Thanks so much for your message - I appreciate the support!


Dr. Ellie Phillips DDS
Solutions for Oral Health

Children's Cavities

Dear Dr Ellie,

I have used your system now for two years. You are amazing!! Thank you from the bottom of my heart. I had severed sensitivity and cavities induced by pregnancy. I happened upon where they recommended you and I tried your system and loved it. I even have spoken on the phone w/ you (about my order). I buy your mints, gum and your book. I love it all and tell all my friends about you. You have saved me from a life of pain.

Question: my six year old just had xrays for the first time. Two little cavities showed up between her back teeth. The dentist labeled it as interproximal decay. He wants to do fillings in a few months. I just started my daughter on act because of her age. Do you think act and zellies mints 10 times a day could fix the fillings? Should I ask him to do xrays in a few months to see if there is improvement? My dentist trusts me.

Kind regards, RD

Hi RD,

If your daughter has cavities - she has A MOUTH INFECTION.

Cavities do not just happen - they are caused by a bacteria called Streptococcus Mutans.

If you have been on my system it should not becoming from you - but possibly other caretakers, day care or someone in the family who has dental disease.

How You Stop the Disease:

Adequate xylitol and adequate frequency is the only way to eradicate this DISEASE.

Juices, sugary or acidic foods MULTIPLY these disease bacteria.

This is why eating a little xylitol AFTER every drink, snack or meal is the best idea.

So - try to space xylitol during the day to protect your daughter from foods or drinks that will grow these cavities.

How about putting a teaspoon into a bottle of water for her to sip during the day - in addition to some Zellies fruit mints after meals?

Once the disease is stopped - the cavities will stop growing - then they will start healing themselves.

Use the ACT as a rinse morning and night - and use a tiny spot of Crest toothpaste (about the size of a rice grain) on her brush.

Make sure your brushes are all cleaned daily - in Listerine or run them through your dishwasher. Dry brushes completely between uses.

Decision to fill or not:

I know the dangers of fillings - so I would never want a filling for a child if at all possible.

White fillings and sealants contain BPA (bisphemol A is recognized as a problem in baby bottles - warnings are out there) and silver fillings contain mercury.

Children's crowns contain base metals - and none of these are healthy for you or your child.

These baby teeth need to last about 4 more years - so you must care for them VERY WELL - to stop the infection and help them last for four more years.

Your choice is either get VERY serious about protecting your daughter's teeth or you will need to have these filled.

Even if you have fillings you should start using xylitol - to stop this disease spreading to her new "adult" molar teeth - at the back of her mouth - these teeth will be in her mouth for life.

I hope you will choose prevention - but this involves work for the whole family.

Best Wishes,


Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Enamel Loss

Dear Dr. Ellie:

Hi, I am 54 year old female and have tooth enamel loss from drinking wine for years{quit 5 mo ago}. I would like to know whats best to use for rebuilding the enamel if this is possible. I have no ins. and havent seen a dentist for years, maybe 7 or 8 now. I have a few cavities also that are becoming sensitive to cold / hot now. Also, just started using tooth builder toothpaste with 36% xylitol and wondering if I should continue? Thanks in advance for your reply. L

Hi L,

Thanks for your message.

Please don't let your teeth be any more damaged - it is essential for your BODY health that you build them back to health as quickly as possible.

The most useful mouth rinse for building back teeth is a product called ACT - and it is found in Target and many other stores.

Make sure it is NOT ACT "TOTAL CARE" - you want only the one that says "ACT anti-cavity" (usually less expensive)

I recommend Crest Cavity Protection toothpaste - without ANY additives - no baking soda, no peroxide, no whitening, no additives at all - just the plain Crest Cavity Protection paste.

I suggest xylitol during the day - not as a toothpaste.

There are lots of reasons for this - but explaining them all would turn this message into a book (and I have already written a book about this if your are interested)!

Get some granular xylitol from your local health food store, and put a teaspoon of this each morning into a bottle of water - and sip this "tooth drink" during the day.

You can also get 100 percent xylitol mints and gum (which I sell from my website) to nibble after meals or when your mouth is dry.

If you want to do more than this I suggest a rinse before brushing and also the use of Listerine between the toothpaste and the ACT rinse.

If you are unclear what to do - start with Crest and ACT and the xylitol drink during the day.

Then visit my website - and I hope we will soon have some video on it to help teach people how to use the Complete Mouth Care System.

If you use the Complete system you will be able to start REVERSING the cavities - it will get rid of the sensitivity and your teeth will get stronger - and naturally whiter.

It all depends how much you want to do.

Here is a link to the instructions for the Complete System:

Hope this is helpful!

Dr. Ellie Phillips DDS
Solutions for Oral Health

How Many Xylitol Packets

Hi Ellie,

My college son is wondering how many packets of xylitol balance a hang over? Is it 4 to one 8oz glass of water? Love to know. Thanks :)

Hi L

That sounds good - never been asked this one before.

Tell your son to let me know how it worked!

Advice for College Kids:

Alcohol can be tough on teeth.

My suggested mouth rinse and toothpaste help retain/regain healthy strong teeth.

Other advice - be careful whom you kiss: dental disease is transmissible!

Disinfect toothbrushes often!

Best wishes,

Dr. Ellie Phillips DDS
Solutions for Oral Health

Before Starting the Program

Hello Dr Ellie

Thanks so much for the invaluable information you have provided in your book. I am starting my whole family on your system today. I have a question though - it is probably obvious, but I just wanted to make sure we are doing everything right. Thanks in advance.

You stress that we should not rinse with water between any of the steps. Does this exclude after brushing, before rinsing out with Listerine? In short, when I finish brushing my teeth with the crest toothpaste, I should rinse out the toothpaste with water as usual, right? And then use the Listerine, and then finish off with ACT? Or should I not rinse my toothpaste filled mouth with water, just rinse with Listerine and then ACT?

Thank you very much in advance!!


Hi B,

It is best to go from one step to the other - no water involved.

You will only use water to wet your brush.

After using the toothpaste - spit out the paste but (with toothpaste residue on your teeth) rinse with the Listerine.

The toothpaste is going to protect your teeth FROM the Listerine.

This is why the choice of toothpaste is so important - and wrong toothpastes will sabotage positive results.

The use of Listerine is to partly to clean teeth - and it will (enough) - but it is most important for gum health.

Listerine is the best rinse to prevent gum inflammation - and recent studies confirmed this!( Preventing gum disease will prevent periodontal disease = oral health).

This is why you need Listerine and why we make a kind of "Listerine sandwich" to use it in a tooth-safe way.

Hope this explains!

Thanks for your question,

Dr. Ellie Phillips DDS
Solutions for Oral Health

Whitening Teeth

Dr. Ellie,

I am reporting back since I have now had my cleaning – which was yesterday.

My hygienist said that my gums looked great, but my tooth “color” has never “looked” worse.

I have been going there for about 18 years so they know how my teeth have always looked.

Plus the fact that my CROWN color – put on in July of 10 – used to look yellow compared to my white teeth… the crown color looks WHITE compared to my teeth! Eeeek!!!!

She got her “ultrasonic” cleaner out and cleaned around the gum line where the moderate staining was and also the back of my lower teeth – around my retainer where the worse staining had occurred.

She asked what I had been doing different and told me that I might want to go back to my old way since my teeth had so much staining and looked “yellow”.

I explained your system and told her about your book, she said she would check it out to see exactly what it was about.

She also told me that whitening them about twice a year might help. She whitens hers once every 4 -5 months.

Her teeth look so WHITE compared to mine now and it used to be the other way around.

So, my question is…..

How long should I(have to) wait to whiten my teeth after this (yesterday) cleaning??

I love my non-sensitive teeth & healthy gums BUT I hate my yellow discolored teeth!!!!

I really want to whiten them now!!!

I have my own personal fitted trays and she gave me some 11% & 16% PERFECTA gel.


Hi CB,

I will step to the side at this point.

You have to decide what you will do - you are armed with information - and you need to make your own decisions.

I am NOT your health care provider - which is why you do not pay me!! Ha!

Read again my chapter on Whitening and then decide. Ask your hygienist questions - after all you are paying her.

You pay a health care provider to help you have nice teeth - ( hopefully Ultimate Oral Health).

Every patient must decide whom they will trust.

I am all in favor of building trust and there are fantastic health professionals - I have met many of them ( check out our website

I have no idea why your teeth are not the color that you want them to be.

This color may be something that you are looking for - but a color that nature is not able to provide (like certain hair colors).

You must make this decision - it is not my place to influence this decision.

As I often repeat - I am here to help those without a dentist, those who have been given bad advice, those unaware that there are things they can do to improve their oral health ( and consequently protect their general health).

I can offer some advice - but for your question - you must decide.

Best Wishes,


Thursday, March 10, 2011


Dr. Ellie,

Read on your blog that people use Closys in their oral irrigators. I use a HydroFloss daily, and would like to try that. How much do you recommend putting in the reservoir of an oral irrigator to be effective?


Dear ID:

I am not a big fan of irrigators. I used to be - but I discovered (counter-intuitive but true) that healing occurred better when people swished and did not use this equipment.


More from the Mail Bag


Thank you for getting back with me so quickly [from a previous email]. This helps immensely. She [a child] doesn't have any other cavities and has no sensitivity. It is large enough so that I can see it. It's on the back edge of her first molar; the 2nd molar does have white areas on that facing side of the tooth, as do the same two teeth on the other side of her mouth. The x-rays didn't show any other cavities. I feel so lucky to have found your system when we did. I think her dentist was worried that infection could affect the permanent tooth. I will ask her dentist to monitor in 4 and 10 months and hope she will support me with this. We have been and will continue to be diligent in following your protocol to the letter. From what I have read, it will only affect the permanent tooth if it becomes an abscess - so we can look out for that. - Is this correct?

We have also started taking cod liver oil (mixed with high vitamin butter oil when we can afford it), probiotics, better vitamins, and will really step up our dairy/yogurts. You'd mentioned in your blog possible effects of honey and herbs in healing, too. I am interested in learning more about all of this.

Before I found your blog, we thought she'd simply inherited her father's (very) bad teeth. I feel so empowered that we now have the education and resources for us all to keep our teeth (and therefore our bodies) healthier for life. It's huge. I can't begin to thank you enough for what you've done for our family, and so many people. Their dad is also using the system, as is my mom and hopefully soon my sister and her family. I have told my childhood dentist, my daughter's dentist and their assistants about your program. As soon as I can I am planning on ordering your book and Zellies. But truly, thank you for helping, responding to my questions and posting all of this invaluable information on your blog.


Hi J,

Thanks for your message - I want to be helpful - and the reality is that sometimes a cavity does need to be filled.

The problem is that "a filling" may have side effects (emotional or physical) - and that needs to be weighed into the equation.

Talk with you dentist - ask questions - and again - be open to the idea that this tooth may need a filling- but it will be the LAST filling for your family!

I will quickly answer your question about the permanent tooth.

There are 3 potential dangers for your child's permanent teeth that are a direct result of a cavity in a baby tooth:

1. Danger from an abscess in a baby tooth as poisons from the abscess get into the jaw and surround the developing new enamel - causing defects while it forms (not good).

2. Space loss. Each baby tooth maintains space for the developing tooth underneath it. If you lose any width in the baby tooth- like the back(distal) side of the tooth - the adult molar behind can push forwards and block out a part of the intended/saved space.

3.Spread of disease FROM the cavity. I was trying to think of a good analagy - and I hope this is not too gross for breakfast time!

Imagine two apples on a table (side by side and touching at one single point). If there was a worm eating one of these apples right at the point of contact - it would be easy for this worm to then turn around and start eating the other apple on the contact point - this damage would begin right at the spot where the two apples were touching.

If you have a live cavity infection - this can happen and potentially infect the adult molar behind and in contact with the side of the baby tooth - exactly where the teeth are touching.

(Getting rid of the infection with xylitol and ACT will prevent this from happening).

Hope this explains!


Animal Cruelty and Oral Care Products

Dear Dr. Ellie,
I read your book a couple of months ago, and have been telling people about it every chance I get.

I have been following your system since I read your book. I am 67 years old and have been brushing after every meal, except when I could not conveniently do so, since I was a small child. Yet I am now forcing myself not to brush after lunch, but it is not clear to me what you recommend after lunch. I eat a little xylitol mixed with cinnamon after each meal when I am home, and chew a piece of xylitol gum even when I am eating out. When I am home I also rinse with ACT after lunch. I know you say it is not the food caught in my teeth that causes decay, but I feel strange not removing it somehow. Should I use Listerine before the ACT?

Also I have been trying for several years to buy my "health and beauty" and household cleaning products at health food stores in order to keep from buying products from companies that cruelly test their products on animals, which I understand most of the well-known companies do. I am buying Listerine and ACT at Walgreens, but cannot bring myself to buy Crest toothpaste. (I have never cared much for the taste of it anyway.) I am currently using Spry toothpaste, which has xylitol. Of course I am also using CloSys, as you advise. I don't mean to put you on the spot, but what is your opinion about animal testing? Do you have any information in that respect about Johnson and Johnson or Procter and Gamble, for example?

Thank you very much for writing your book and for your kind consideration of my letter.

Yours sincerely,


Hi C,

I am an animal lover and I respect your work to prevent cruelty to animals.

I am only an expert when it comes to the benefits of the products I recommend for oral health - and so I cannot add any information about the products and their testing.

As someone recently wrote on my blog '"The "Complete System" that Dr. Ellie recommends is just that...a System of oral care that is to be used in its entirety, just as spelled out. Deviation might very well not yield the same results. In many places on her site and in the book Dr. Ellie makes it crystal clear that not only are certain Name-brand products to be used, they are to be used in a precise manner, in specific order. The reasons for *these* products in *this* order are clearly stated."

You ask my advice about a different toothpaste - and I cannot be excited about this toothpaste with xylitol - because it probably won't work in my system.

There are xylitol mouth rinses in the marketplace that are way too acidic - and toothpastes with xylitol that can damage teeth because they are too abrasive.

It is sad that many "health food store" oral products do not work or can even damage teeth. Some seem to add a particular ingredient just to sound good.

There are products made for "dry mouth" that are heavily advertised for dry mouth - yet they are acidic and will only add to the damage.

I have tried to be explicit and explain that going outside of my system probably will not work.

You cannot cherry pick the products and expect the same results. You will be conducting your own experiment.

I wish you the best - and before you sacrifice your own health for animals' - I suggest you try my system in its entirety and see how your mouth feels.

Since oral health is linked to body health - you must stay healthy yourself, if you are going to fight this fight for the animals you love.

Best Wishes,


Crohn's Disease and Oral Health

Dear Dr Ellie,

I have been reading your blog, website and now your book with great interest and have been impressed by your approach.

I am in my mid 20s, from the UK and was diagnosed with Crohn's disease about 4 years ago. As treatment for that condition I spent over a year on high dose corticosteroids and have ongoing immunosuppressants, which have now got me to a stable condition. I have been diagnosed with thin bones (osteopenia) due to the steroid treatment which is unusual for a male of my age.

Before my diagnosis I had a couple of small fillings, however since my diagnosis every time I visit my dentist I seem to have more work done and have had several instances of very bad toothache, fillings dropping out etc. I have 3 teeth now with root fillings, 1 with a crown and another with a inlay / onlay. Almost all my molars are filled and I have also had to have a molar extracted. I am lucky in that I have free NHS dental treatment so there is no financial cost but there is a cost in terms of the pain, discomfort and unsightliness.

After recently having to have the crown fitted, two fillings and a root canal I decided to look and see if I could find any way of slowing down this decay process as otherwise I felt I was heading toward false teeth at an early age. This is when I came across your website and then your book.

I am not medically or dentally trained but it would seem to me that people with Crohn's disease have lots of risk factors for poor dental health:
  • Poor absorption of nutrients in the gut 
  • Increased incidence of acid reflux from the stomach 
  • Steroid treatments known to weaken bones, possible similar effect on teeth? 
  • Immunosuppressant treatment may make our mouths more susceptible to infection 

My dentist has not heard of any particular link between Crohn's and poor oral health but by GP thinks it is certainly possible. I wondered what your thoughts would be on this?

I can report that I have been using your system (as best as I can given product availability in my area of the UK) for about 1 month now and already I am seeing good results. My gums seem to be the first area to have benefited, they are not bleeding when I brush and they have changed colour from red to pink. My teeth are also less sensitive. I will certainly continue to use the system and my hope is that at my next checkup with my dentist for the first time in a long time there will be no new fillings to do!

With regards to product availability I am using:

Retardex (which seems to be cheapest in the UK at Wilkinson's Stores)

Crest Decay Prevention toothpaste. This is the only 'regular' crest toothpaste I could find and is actually a lot cheaper than the whitening/tartar control versions. I am not sure if it is just the UK branding of the Crest Cavity Prevention.

Listerine Original

Colgate Plax Alcohol Free (this is marketed as new and I am not sure if it has replaced the Colgate Fluorigard. Active ingredient is Sodium Fluoride 0.05% (225ppm) and the rest of the ingredients seem virtually identical to what I can see of the Fluorigard ingredient list.

I am also using Spry chewing gum after each meal and mid afternoon and evening (so 5 times at least a day). The gum seems to be only sweetened with Xylitol rather than Sorbitol.

I know you do not recommend substitutions but I have tried to keep as close to your system as possible given the product availability in my part of the UK (which may not be as good as in London or other large urban areas). I wondered if you thought these were reasonable substitutions in the circumstances?

Sorry for the long email, I know your time is precious.

Many Thanks


Hi D,

I think you "get" the entire situation and have made a very good evaluation of the link between your medical condition and your oral health.

You have also done a great job in finding suitable products.

I applaud you for all your diligence in figuring this out in another country.

I like the help that your message could offer to others with Crohn's disease.

May I have your permission to post it on my blog - mainly to bring this to the attention of others who may have suffered similar damage?

Thanks so much for your letter - and I look forward to hearing more updates as you move along your journey into a better state of oral health.

Best Wishes,


Dr. Ellie Phillips DDS
Solutions for Oral Health

Whitening Teeth

Dear Ellie,

I have now been on the system since July 2010. (exactly as listed)

My teeth are no longer sensitive (except for my one crown) and they feel stronger. Thanks! :)

I do have a few additional questions for you.

1. While my teeth are no longer sensitive and feel stronger they are not as white as they used to be.

I have brown stains (from dead plaque I am assuming) around the gum line(top and bottom teeth) and all around the glue of my permanent retainer (back of my lower front teeth) is now horribly brown with stains. (used to be no stains at all for 3.5 years…until the “system”)

Should my hygienist really scrape(clean) these stains off? (gum line & back of lower retainer glue stains)

OR should I go ahead and do one whitening treatment with my custom trays?? I really miss my white teeth! :(

(and yes I know that the teeth are really transparent and the dentin has the color. All I can say is that my teeth do not “appear” as white as they used to be. Hopefully it is because of the brown staining/dead plaque)

2. The ingredient SLS (Sodium Lauryl Sulfate) is causing me more cold sores than usual. Can you recommend a toothpaste to me that doesn’t contain SLS??

I used to use Biotene tooth paste and SLS free Sensodyne. I do not want to use sensodyne anymore since I no longer need potassium nitrate. So Biotene is my best bet since it caused me no cold sores.

Here are Biotene’s ingredients:

Active Ingredients: Glucose Oxidase (10,000 Units), Lactoferrin (16mg), Lactoperoxidase (15,000 Units), Lysozyme (16mg), Sodium Monofluorophosphate (0.14% w/v fluoride ion)

Inactive Ingredients: Sorbitol, Glycerin, Calcium Pyrophosphate, Hydrated Silica, Xylitol, Isoceteth 20, Cellulose Gum, Flavor, Calcium Lactate, Sodium Benzoate, Beta-D-Glucose, Potassium Thiocyanate

Do you see anything objectionable?

I really need to get rid of the SLS, so your help is greatly appreciated.

Thanks so much DR. Ellie!!! :)
Hi CB,

Thanks for your message - and you are obviously very conscious of the elements of this system - for which I commend (and thank) you!

The stains are part of the healing process - and getting rid of the germs that were stuck to your teeth is a blessing for you - in many ways - especially for your general health.

Your hygienist should be able to remove these with an ultrasound cleaner or such - quite easily.

By keeping on the system these stains should not return.

( If they do - then you will need to increase your xylitol and find out who/ or how someone or something is re-infecting you).

I have no problem with a limited amount of whitening providing you realize that the process does damage the healthy protective layer that is now covering your teeth.

This layer is the layer that protects your gums from infection, your teeth from cavities and from being damaged by temperature and acids etc.

The damage from whitening is explained in my book, but I believe FOR AN ADULT it is probably reversible without too many long term consequences.

So my advice: - get the stain removed - stay on the system for about a month after this staining removal before you whiten.

Whiten for one or two days - no more than a week - and then get back to being nice to your teeth!

The SLS in Crest Cavity Protection paste has never been a problem in my years of listening to people - are you certain that you have the correct paste?

No tartar control, no added ingredients - be sure it is not Crest Pro Health. There are so many brand look-alikes, Check carefully against the pictures on my website:

I NEVER recommend Biotene - it is acidic and will really mess up your results.

You would be better to use a drop of ACT on your toothbrush than use this - try this for a start once you are sure that you are using the correct paste.

Thanks again for your feedback - please update me as you complete this process so I can follow your results!

Great job getting to this stage - your general health will thank you!

Best Wishes,


Sunday, March 06, 2011

Baby Bottle Tooth Decay

Hi Dr. Ellie,

I came upon your name, blog, articles and the rest of your followers on the net and I am relieved. I just want to ask for your input on pulpectomies of toddlers. I know by your vast experience and knowledge I can get some ideas.

I am a quite in agony right now. My 2 year and 2 months old baby developed bad milk-bottle teeth, discolored, and started breaking in half -all four front teeth. I am blaming myself for this because I was giving her milk to make her sleep at night- she kind of a challenging baby at first - just cried all the time and would not sleep and milk could make her sleep. We just gave it and were happy to see her settle down.

Now, she has my worst fear in life, she has broken and decayed teeth per her pediatric dentist and he suggested doing pulpectomy all 4 of them. Since she is just 2 years old and less than 30 lbs, he said he will do it on a papoose and with a local mouth anesthesia. I am so scared - been in the net trying to get info, to do it or not to do. Fears of side effects, how can she or I tolerate the procedure (she is so strong, we need 3 people to hold her down with her immunizations, I mean a male big nurse is always called to help us). One more thing can it affect her eating pattern? I came across something that said, they don't want to swallow foods after pulpectomy. This time I even have that problem, she has selective swallowing- certain foods she would hoard in her mouth for a while. All she eats is soup, noodles, pasta- her peds said just continue offering- she will outgrow it??? Is there any risk of these pulpectomy not being successful? I am so worried, can you give me advice when you have available time. I apologize for a long letter. Thank you so much for giving attention amidst your busy schedule. God Bless you for all your help and education.



I cannot diagnose for your daughter - since I have not seen her.

I can only discuss some things that may help you decide what to do.


The milk you gave your daughter is not the problem.

Germs/bacteria in your daughter's mouth are the problem.

These germs produce acids which burn away the tooth - resulting in the destruction.


You and your family all share these germs.

Once the germs are gone - there will be no more destruction.

You infect each other - so you must all start on an oral health program with xylitol.

Xylitol will get rid of this infection(germs) and stop the disease.

You MUST start this immediately - for your children, for you and involve other caretakers.


If you look closely at my website you will see how to use xylitol.

You need 1-2 teaspoons a day, after meals and make sure you have lots of little exposures.

Kids like the taste ( buy some granular to start) and put it on a spoon to eat after every meal.

Get some ACT rinse and brush your daughter's teeth with one drop of this liquid when you can.

Don't stress about the brushing - just try.

Maybe give her the brush and let her suck on it. - maybe before nap time or before bed at night.

ONLY one drop of the ACT on the brush - more is NOT better.

Every time she has a few grains of xylitol you are improving her situation.

Do this 5-10 times a day - to start ( just a few grains on a teaspoon each time).

This will stop the disease. Nature will help you!

Finally: things to consider:

If you stop the disease - the teeth will stop decaying and start to get healthier.

There is no absolute reason to repair these teeth if they are not infected.

In many countries this kind of decay is NOT repaired - and the kids are fine.

You (as mother) should weigh the long term stress for your child against the NEED for this.

Maybe you can wait - and keep an eye on the teeth.

If you see any bumps on the gum with pus coming out of them - then you will need to have some treatment.

It is important to protect the new teeth in the jaw that are growing.

They will only be damaged if you leave an untreated abscess for a long time.

To be sure, you could ask your dentist if there is any sign of an abscess.

He would need an X ray for that.

If an abscess develops - you can have your child strapped down then. What is the point now - if these teeth are not at that stage?

I cannot tell you what to do - except get on a xylitol program immediately.

I suggest that if you daughter is not in any pain - wait a while - until you are comfortable with your decision ( either way).

Most pediatric dentists will fill decayed teeth - they do not want to take any different road.

If they opt for "not treating" this can be criticized and carries the "risk" they "look bad" for NOT treating these teeth.

Personally I asses the BEST outcome for the child's overall mental and physical health.

Sometimes this is NON treatment.

I hope this helps - talk about a long e-mail!


Ellie Says: It's Your Choice!

Below is an email conversation between Ellie and a person interested in her advice on oral care. We invite you to comment freely.

Dr. Ellie,

Hello. I have some questions. Every study I read, regarding Listerine's effect on composite restorations is negative - except for the study on Listerine's website. Even the Closys website tags some studies It softens restorations and effects the bonding - I've read too many articles to post - but it's enough to be a consensus. Why are these studies ignored in your system. Also, studies have shown that Listerine release mercury from amalgams. This study had nothing to do with the amalgam alarmists agenda. It's a fact. ACT was also shown to affect composite restorations. I'm concerned. Would it be fair to say that your system is great for those who are restorative free and at minimum - risky - for those with restorations. There are so many adhesives and composite materials, and then there is the technique of the dentist - all plays a part in the negative effects, but, I have yet to find evidence in study that Listerine does not cause a negative result to composite hardness and the bond. My personal situation is that my fillings are large (probably shouldn't even be fillings but onlays and they are close to the nerve). I'm very concerned about the longevity of these restorations. I'm not writing to argue but I would like a response to the data that is out there. The data supports Closys and even Crest (minus the SLS) - but the Listerine and the ACT issues with restorations. The most compelling evidence I found was that a dry toothbrush with no paste was best at removing plaque. I also read that Tooth Soap does a better job antiseptically and remineralizing teeth (because of lack of glycerin) which helps saliva (and xylitol) remineralize. Also, the data shows that flouride is dose dependent for caries risks. I don't have all the answers and I"m not a dentist, but I'm reading university and worldwide studies in Pakistan, Europe, US and the consensus seems to be what I'm presenting to you for your feedback. If you can, could you please explain why this data is not recognized regarding your system because most of us have restorative dentistry.



Dear J:

you are free to choose.


Dear Dr. Ellie:

Why do you respond in length to others and I get these kind of responses? Do you wish for me to advertise this response online or would you like to treat me with some level of respect and courtesy?



I have already given you a great deal of my time - freely over several YEARS.

I have spoken to you on the phone at length more than once.

I have corresponded and answered your questions, even personally referred you to a specialist.

I imagine that of all the dental experts you have consulted - I have been the best value ever!

I suggest you use the system that I recommend.

Period. I use it. I have fillings - composite and amalgam from 40+ years ago.

I keep abreast of the research and when I no longer recommend my system - I will take down my website and end the printing of my book.

I spend my time and effort to help as many people as possible -for FREE.

I help those without insurance, those without money, those who are being given crazy advice for their children.

The studies you quote about Listerine, for example, are not suggesting using Listerine's after Crest Cavity Protection toothpaste or followed by ACT.

I agree that Listerine used alone could be detrimental to those with acidic risk or dry mouth.

Most studies do not take individual risk factors into account.

Delving into an argument with you about these details is too exhausting.

I am saving my energy to help others - children with cavities - families without a dentist.

I am sorry if you feel YOU need more of MY time to answer and defend the system that I recommend.

I will save you time and effort and POST your question + my reply - on my blog for over 10,000 people to read.

I will ask blog readers to please contact me if they agree with you - and think I need to be more courteous and respectful!

I am inviting comments from readers please!

The point is that everyone out there is free to choose what they use and whom you believe.

I try to help by giving the best information that I can give. TAKE IT OR LEAVE IT - your choice.


Thursday, March 03, 2011

Crest Toothpaste

Hi Ellie,

I notice that Crest regular toothpaste contains sorbitol (found this at Presumably the sorbitol is taken off the teeth by the rinses. Is that correct? I never knew about the drawbacks of sorbitol until I read your book, so thank you for pointing that out. I am now scrutinizing ingredients!



Dear S:


NONE ARE PERFECT - BUT YOUR SURMISE IS EXACT - the "annoying" ingredients do not affect the effectiveness, nor put us at risk.

I also wish there was not SLS in Crest paste, but it does not seem to create any reaction in my user population.

I believe Crest is the best fabricated commercial paste ( the gold standard in the 1950s was a lot higher for oral products than it is today).

Sorbitol is only a problem when it is "fed" to plaque bacteria on a frequent basis ( as in chewing gum or sugarless mints).

The little bit added for sweetness to the paste is not of any consequence.

Do I wish it were xylitol? - yes , but that would make the paste different and more expensive also.

FYI - please don't go looking for xylitol pastes - to date I have looked at the pastes available - and would NOT substitute any for Crest - for a number of reasons.

We will keep looking for improvements and let you know!

Thanks for your diligence -

Truly, I believe you should now relax and enjoy your new oral health!

Have a great day,