System Questions

Dear Dr. Ellie

I really like to drink one cup of green tea in the mornings on my drive into work. Before leaving the house (but after eating breakfast) I use the Closys rinse, brush my teeth, rinse with Listerine, and end with the Listerine total care (fluoride rinse). I bought this huge bottle of it before finding and reading your blog so I’m stuck using it until I run out. At that point I’ll probably go and pick up the ACT rinse as a replacement.

My first question is, how long should I wait after I use a fluoride rinse before drink my tea? I have been keeping a 30 minute buffer between the two but I wasn’t sure if that was enough time for the fluoride to be on my teeth.

My next question is would it be alright to use any type of xylitol gum/mint after drinking the tea (or after any meal/beverage for that matter). I know you prefer Zellies but would the Spry gum work as well? I know I can find the spry gum at a nutrition store near where I live.

Lastly, I know you recommend eating 6-10 grams of xylitol a day. If you are only considering xylitol gum, do you recommend just chewing the gum (and for how long?) or swallowing the gum when you are finished with it.


Hi A,

I was looking through my blog questions and I don’t think I answered this one of yours!
Sorry it gets confusing sometimes with so much activity.

I would not recommend using Total Care. It will not be as effective as using plain ACT.
I can explain this to women who are used to applying a Cleanser Toner and Moisturizer for skin care. If we asked them if they would ever mix toner with the moisturizer. Answer: No way!

The benefits of xylitol come from the sugary liquid ( the mix of your saliva with xylitol) as it bathes your teeth in your mouth. Chewing does not make any difference the benefits are immediate and as the sugary liquid touches your teeth and gums. This is why all the benefits are within seconds you can even throw the gum out after a minute or so when the taste has gone.
It is your choice since the xylitol benefits are now complete.

Hope this explains this somewhat different way of thinking about xylitol and teeth. If you read, you may enjoy my short book called The Power of Xylitol which explains how xylitol works.

Good luck,


Categories: Xylitol

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