Follow the Label? or Follow the System?

Dear Dr. Ellie, 

Hi. I ran across Dr. Ellie’s site and have been reading about oral care. I am not doing the entire system but here is what I am currently doing:

I brush my teeth twice a day with regular crest paste. I use listerine twice a day. I am using regular act mint twice a day even though the bottle says use only once a day, Dr. Ellie says use twice a day.

Well I have been doing it for about 2-4 weeks now, and tonight I noticed a white spot on my top left canine tooth towards the bottom of the tooth. Am I getting too much fluoride? I hope I have not damaged my tooth by doing the Act twice a day. Please tell me what to do. I floss at night too. I am currently using the Crest Spin brush. Should I use the Act only once a day instead? But then I’m left with the dilemma of not rinsing after using listerine one of the 2 times a day.

Any suggestions. Just want to make sure I’m doing the right thing.


Dear OK,

Hi ,
Thanks for your question a good one!

If you are trying to follow the labels and combine them with my instructions then you will be confused!

First decide if you want to follow the company or my suggestions! Combining the two is not going to work.

People who have been given specific pastes and gels by health professionals face the same dilemma. Who do you trust?

My suggestion is to try each system and FEEL the difference on your teeth or ask the question “does it work?”.

I have asked “does it work?”to dental professionals about the products some of them recommend to patients. It is amusing to find these dentists know the product does not give improved results! Perhaps you can try my system for a week and compare!

I would never use Listerine without a final rinse of ACT ever!
If you are uncomfortable with this at least eat a Zellie mint or some Zellies gum after the Listerine rinse (to bring your mouth back to alkaline safety).

I imagine the idea of “once a day” ACT is to protect the company if you drank the rinse each time you use it. (I once was told by a fluoride expert that the formulation of ACT was developed years ago for people to drink! NOTE: I am NOT suggesting you do this!)

If you use my system, you need to SPIT the rinse out after using. I suggest you spit out a couple of times (twice or three times) to get the liquid out of your mouth. I only recommend ACT to those who can rinse and spit safely. A thin film or residue may remain in the crevices of your teeth but this is a tiny amount.(** see below about fluoride)

Remember that ACT is so dilute most dentists do not think it is worth recommending! Many dentist recommend fluoride rinses and gels many times stronger. One or two parts per million is the “concentration” to heal your teeth. Most gels used at the dentist are around ten thousand parts per million!

**The fluoride in ACT works in my system as a catalyst. This is a liquid film that encourages minerals (from your saliva) to go into your teeth. It is only going to do this while it is in contact with your tooth surface. This use of fluoride is completely different from eating or drinking fluoride.

Many people (and this does not include me) think people should eat or drink fluoride (like some kind of vitamin) and get it into your blood system.

Used in this way, the fluoride enters your teeth from the inside. I do not recommend this. I think that this is a bad concept, because it is easy to eat or drink too much. If you eat or drink too much fluoride while teeth are growing (this only includes children up until they are 7/8 years old) fluoride spots can develop on the teeth.

As an adult this will not occur. The damage happens because the fluoride poisons the small cells (ameloblasts) that produce enamel during the tooth formation process. As an adult this is not going to happen so your white spot is not from this process.

I know that the subject of fluoride is difficult and I will try to explain in more detail on my website. Perhaps a slide show would help explain this I will work on it!

Good luck and thanks for the question,
Ellie Phillips

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