Xylitol mouth rinse?

Hi Dr. Ellie, 

I notice that in your system, you recommend using ACT fluoride rinse, yet you have very good things to say about xylitol. Is the reason for using a fluoride rinse, (like ACT), instead of a xylitol rinse because the fluoride rinse does a better job remineralizing the teeth? Or is the reason simply that it is very difficult to find xylitol mouth rinses? (Or perhaps for some other reason?) Thanks so much for your help and for your wonderful site and products! 

All Good Medicine!


Hi M,
Thanks for your question!

I am a huge fan of xylitol, as you noticed!

Xylitol restores good bacteria balance in the mouth (providing you eat enough of it) reduces plaque deposits for better gum and tooth health, and (as if that were not enough ) xylitol helps remineralize and repair deeper layers of enamel that have lost their strength.

The dilute concentration of sodium fluoride in ACT does only one thing it repairs the outermost surface of teeth. I like to refer to this outside surface as the “skin” of the tooth.

Xylitol repairs the “flesh” layer (the deeper layers of the enamel).
Imagine that you had a cut or wound in your skin you need both the flesh and the skin to heal.

This outer layer can heal and become particularly strong if you use the dilute sodium fluoride in an acidic environment.

This is why I recommend using ACT after the acidic rinse, Listerine. When you use the ACT in this way, the repairs to the “skin” are even more perfect. The new crystals that form are stronger (making enamel more acid-resistant) and smoother (making your tooth surface smoother, so it feels cleaner and looks brighter).

ACT, used in this way, can actually make your teeth stronger than they could otherwise be.
When a tooth is more acid resistant it will better resist damage from foods, drinks, acidic saliva and from grinding teeth.

Xylitol is terrific, but it cannot perform this strengthening of the outer surface of teeth.

On the other hand, if people only used fluoride, it heals the outside of the tooth but not the inside. Older dentists like me will remember the frustration of drilling into a small hole in an almost perfect tooth, to find mushy tooth decay (infected with bacteria) under the hard outer shell of enamel. Dilute fluoride has no effect on the disease of tooth decay its only effect is healing the outermost layer.

The combined use of xylitol and fluoride eliminates this concern, because the xylitol kills off the harmful bacteria and promotes deeper healing while the fluoride takes care of the surface. These two products work in harmony and produce results not possible when either products is used alone.

I know that xylitol rinse sounds like a good idea but be careful the xylitol rinses I have seen were acidic or had negating ingredients.

Hope this answers your question,


Ellie Phillips DDS

26 Corporate Woods
Rochester, NY 14623

Categories: Xylitol

Tags: , ,

  • Maria says:

    Hi Dr Ellie!! I’ve been reading your blog and I’m fascinated at how much I’m learning from it.
    I would really apreciate if you could take the time to answer these questions for me and clear my doubts, I know its a lot but in my country I cant access the products you recomend.
    1) is it safe to use a mouth rinse that contain diluted fluoride AND 10% xylitol? I dont know if the xylitol makes it acidic. In my country I can’t buy the products from your sistem, but this is the only fluoride rinse I found that contains NO glycerin.
    2) Is a remineralizing gel (no fluoride, just minerals) still effective if it contains glycerin? These are the ingredients:
    Active Ingredients: Calcium Glycerophosphate, Magnesium Chloride, Xylitol.

    Ingredients: Aqua, Glycerin (Sorbitol), Xylitol, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Calcium Glycerophosphate, Polysorbate-20, Flavor, Methylparaben, Magnesium Chloride, Hydroxypropyl Guar.

    3) what toothpaste would you recomend? I cant get crest, but the brands I can buy are: colgate, oral b, g.u.m, elgydium, etc. I’m currently using elgydium for kids, because its non abrassive and I belive it has no glycerin, just sorbitol (maybe its the same). But this toothpaste contains fluorinol (derivated from sodium fluoride) and its a small fluoride amount for kids.
    4) can you actually rebuild surface enamel? Mine was damaged by braces removal, leaving my front theeth rough, yellowish and with a few pits and cracks 🙁 but I’m doing my best to make it better.
    I’m sorry if I made any mistakes, english is not my first language.
    Thank you so much in advance! I would love to read your reply, keep up the great work!

    • I think you have to simply try these products, using your best judgment. See how your teeth feel.
      Yes, your teeth should “feel” smoother and healthier in a matter of days if you have the process working for you.

      I prefer to stay away from glycerin – but you may not be able to…and I’m not certain about some of the other ingredients. On the other hand, this may all work fine and you will make progress – even if it’s not as quick as it could be. Remember good nutrition means a lot – and healthy saliva is the best liquid to remineralize teeth. Work to include lots of vegetables in your diet – and end every meal with a tooth protective food – cheese, or xylitol. Good luck and do let us know how it goes!

      • Maria says:

        Hi Dr Ellie, Thank you so much for answering!!
        As you said, my teeth feel a little smoother after about a month with the rinse, so I guess its good ! 🙂 is it possible to heal the scratches on my enamel with xylitol and dilute fluoride?

        I will use xylitol daily and keep good nutrition as you recomended.

        A few days ago I emailed you to ask about more products that I found that I belive have the right ingredients. I sent it via email because I wasnt sure if that or these coments were more effective to reach you.

        I sent the ingredient list of the products I found, maybe if you belive they can be good and if I see good results it can be useful to recomend them to people who cannot get access to your complete system.

        I would really apreciate if you could check them out 😉

        Sorry for taking your time Dr Ellie, but I’m willing to learn as much as possible to help myself and my frinds and family with their oral issues. Thank you so much for taking the time to read and answear every comment!!

        Keep up the great work, it gives us all hope to heal! I will uptade if I have any improvements

        Best wishes


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