Brush or Zellies after every meal?

Dear Dr. Ellie,

I have a question. You written that each time one eats anything we should take a Zellie mint or a little bit of Xylitol. I would imagine that if it were a time that I would be brushing my teeth right after eating, I wouldn’t need to take the mint at that time. Is that right, or is it a good idea to take the mint, and brush anyway? Seems sort of a dumb question but it is sort of puzzle for those of us who are just learning all of this.

Thank you so much.

Dear BG,

It will not hurt your teeth to eat a little xylitol after every meal.
It may hurt teeth to brush them after meals if you have been eating anything acidic.

Real Life Story:
I was talking to a gentleman last night who ruined his teeth by brushing them immediately after eating lemons. He loves lemons and eats them in some form at every meal. He knew the citric acid was bad for his teeth and so he would rush to brush his teeth after each meal. Unfortunately lemon juice quickly softens enamel and leaves it vulnerable to toothpaste abrasion. This man abraded ALL the enamel off his teeth in this way.

If this man had eaten a Zellie mint or some xylitol after eating the lemons his mouth would no longer have been acidic, his teeth would not have softened and his dental damage would probably not have happened. Just a real life example of how Zellies can help!

Thanks so much for your interest,
Please keep in touch,
Ellie Phillips, DDS

Categories: Xylitol

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  • lushan says:

    So should we not brush after meals at all? Or take some Zellies right after meals, wait an hour, then brush?

  • Kristi says:

    My 9 month old daughter’s four top teeth are newly coming in. The front two teeth that are breaking through appear to be coming out with light brown spots. Can baby’s first teeth come out with brown spots already on them and if so why?

  • Dr. Ellie says:

    Dear Kristi, Brown spots are not a good sign on baby teeth.I would start immediately with a combination of dilute sodium fluoride and xylitol.You can apply a drop of sodium fluoride directly to the brown spots on a Q tip.My suggestion would be to use bubblegum flavor ACT – it tastes good and a 1 oz bottle would be all that you need. Xylitol can be applied by making up your own solution or by using a ready made tooth wipe known as Spiffies.You can add a quarter teaspoon of xylitol to a baby bottle or sippy cup to complete the application of xylitol to teeth.”A little xylitol often” is the best – either wiped as a solution onto teeth or as a drink when mixed with a little water. With summer fruits it may be an idea to sprinkle some xylitol over chopped up strawberries as a luscious and dentally beneficial dessert! The color of these teeth may not change, but the important thing for you to do is to control the reason for the brown spots – which most likely is the presence of harmful tooth bacteria in your baby’s mouth. Another important thing is to clean all the family toothbrushes every day in some Listerine and rinse out.Germs can travel from person to person and from brush to brush. If anyone in the family has bad teeth they can be the source of these bad bacteria. Check out my Complete Mouth Care System for adult teeth on the website and have the rest of the family ‘clean” away harmful bacteria from their mouths with xylitol products. I hope you will control the problem and that from here on your child will enjoy great oral health.Ellie Phillips

  • Dr. Ellie says:

    Lushan – The big problem is brushing after anything food or drink that may have softened the enamel of your teeth. Today many people end their meals with soda, lemonade,even water or tea – with a wedge of lemon. If you ended your meal with something alkaline (like a piece of cheese) it would be fine to brush.I am also concerned about ‘waiting’ half an hour”. The problem occurs if your own saliva is acidic. Usually people under stress, those with a dry mouth or older women suffer from acidic saliva that never manages to bring the mouth pH back to alkaline after eating. For these reasons, unless we can talk about your exact habits and take a pH measurement of your mouth – I would suggest you end every meal with some xylitol or a known alkaline food ( dairy, nuts etc.) Many people damage their enamel by rushing to brush their teeth after eating or by consuming an acidic beverage( beer, wine, soda) before brushing their teeth at night. Thanks for the question,Ellie

  • JD says:

    I nearly always finish off a meal with some milk…since it's not acidic, would it be ok to brush? Thanks

  • Dr. Ellie says:

    The answer to your question is yes. Cows milk is a food that contains many helpful, cavity-stopping properties. Dentists today sell expensive toothpaste made from milk. This paste is safe for teeth and even helpful, but a glass of milk would also work! Ending meals with tooth protective foods is the key to my system of dental care. Xylitol is one such food but there are other foods that have tooth-protective or "anti-cavity" features. The most protective foods are called cariostatic because they stop cavities forming. Cariostatic foods either contain minerals to boost the strength of teeth, or they form a coating over teeth to protect tooth enamel. If you read my book, Kiss Your Dentist Goodbye – I have an entire chapter about "Foods for Teeth".Experiments show that if you drink milk while eating something acidic or sweet, the calcium and phosphates in milk prevent enamel damage. Cheese has similar cavity-preventing qualities. The protective effects of cheese are seen even when cheese is baked. Experiments show that eating cheese as a snack can be very protective, especially for young children. In one experiment, seven- to nine-year-old children ate a small piece of cheese after breakfast for two years. At the end of this controlled study, researchers found significantly less tooth damage in these children when compared to a similar group that did not eat cheese after breakfast.For mothers who have problems weaning their children from juice-filled sippy cups, putting half a teaspoon of xylitol into water as a replacement may work, or frequent snacks of cubed cheese to help compensate for damage done by the juice . For adults who find their favorite wine to be acidic, you have a good reason to enjoy a cube of cheese as an accompanying snack!Here’s an added tip: If someone’s tooth is knocked out by accident and you are able to take it to a dentist for implantation, carry the tooth in a container of saliva, saline, or milk.Ellie http://www.zellies.com26 Corporate WoodsRochester, NY 14623(585) 272-1270

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