Xylitol Use

Dear Dr. Ellie: 


Will I receive the benefits of xylitol mints/gum if I use them after eating a snack then brushing my teeth afterwards? Does the xylitol have to remain on the teeth for a certain amount of time to get benefits? An example: I eat breakfast in the morning. Then should I use the mints before I do the brush/listerine/ACT routine. Or do the brushing routine, then use the xylitol? I’m trying to get the most out of all the products I use. 

Thank you

Abby C.

Dear A,

I would suggest doing the mouth rinse routine first and then eat your Zellies (preferably about half an hour after the rinse). Space your 6.5 grams of xylitol out over the day as much as you can after meals and drinks makes perfect sense.

The benefits of xylitol are that it brings minerals to teeth and works as an antibacterial. The length of time it takes for the antibacterial benefits is not known as far as I know and it may occur over time. I would not want to rinse these “benefits” away too soon!

The benefits of the mouth rinse routine are instant although they do last for as long as the final residue from the ACT is in contact with your teeth.

(Research shows that under normal conditions you continue to benefit for half an hour after rinsing, but you benefit from any amount of time however short). There is also research to show that xylitol and fluoride work in harmony and having a few extra minerals floating around cannot be anything but a benefit for your teeth.

On the remineralizing benefits:
Xylitol helps remineralize the deeper areas of a tooth and xylitol appears to help the tooth absorb calcium. Fluoride speeds remineralization of the outer enamel layers of teeth.
So the two together work like a team! Enjoy!

Thanks again for a very thoughtful question!
Ellie Phillips, DDS



Categories: Remineralization, Xylitol

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  • Anonymous says:

    Doc,My name is Benny, need some advise. Question, does hot salt water when rinsing help at all when you have a tooth problem. Thanking in advance for your help.Benny BrownJacksonville Fl.

  • Dr. Ellie says:

    Dear Benny, I once had a dental instructor who told me that salt water was probably one of the best cures for almost all dental problems.It is alkaline, and has antiseptic properties. If you have an abscess – soaking your mouth with warm salt water will draw the infection towards the surface and help the pressure to release to the surface – releasing the pain at the same time.After an extraction – we always recommend gentle bathing of the wound with warm salt water for several days to speed healing. Before I could tell you that warm salt is the best treatment in your case, I would need to know more about your “tooth problem”.Warm salt will not do any harm – but if your problem is from erosion or loss of mineral salts – there may be other ideas that will help you more. Send me an Email if you do not have a dentist and need some more advice ( no charge)Ellieellie@zellies.com

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