PLEASE help! Question about ACT

Dear Dr. Ellie,
I really need your help and expertise concerning an ingredient in ACT. It is called Cetylpyridinium chloride and it supposedly causes brown staining between the teeth just like Stannous fluoride causes.
There have been many complaints about the Crest Pro-health pastes and rinses because of the Stannous Fluoride and the brown staining it causes and we have always stayed away from those products because of this. (like your recommendation too)
Now, the ACT has me worried because of the similar effects between the above 2 chemicals.
I have been on your wonderful system for over 2 weeks and my teeth look whiter(although did not have yellow teeth to begin with), feel much cleaner, but I now have a small amount of brown staining on my lower teeth. (towards where the teethe touch together and towards the gums, not on the flat surfaces)
Please let me know why this happens and how to avoid it because I REALLY want to continue with your wonderful system!!!
What is the “brown staining effect” concerning the 2 above chemicals and how are they different?
Thank you so much!!
C
Dear C,

I understand your concern, and agree that stannous fluoride in Pro Health will cause staining of teeth. I never recommend any products with stannous fluoride, for this reason and others.
I am very comfortable recommending ACT. I think ACT is a wonderful rinse that can beautify teeth and make them whiter and more resistant to staining. ACT contains sodium fluoride which will put minerals into teeth making them less porous and therefore less likely to stain.
The only two occasions when sodium fluoride could cause staining of teeth:
1.) In developing teeth – of toddlers:

When sufficient amounts of sodium fluoride are given to children under three years of age to ingest by drinking or eating.

Forming teeth are easily damaged by excessive fluoride which disrupts enamel formation.
Children who ingest too much fluoride before the age of three can have tooth enamel that has large voids in it. 

These damaged teeth  look brown from the surface.
Fluorosis like this cannot occur with rinsing. This is only a risk for children ingesting sufficient sodium fluoride as they teeth are forming  i.e. children under age three.
2.) When a soft spot or cavity is healing by use of sodium fluoride
Sodium fluoride can cause some darkening of a softened part of a tooth if you have a very soft area that is about to become a cavity. This darkening happens as part of the process  when the sodium fluoride begins to heal the cavity.
The weak area of the tooth becomes harder as minerals are deposited into it. The damaged  “cavity” area may darken as these minerals go into the weak area. As the tooth heals, the tooth may darken in color in the center of the soft spot. What is happening is that the cavity is becoming harder so the soft spot eventually hardens up from the inside out and in this way, the cavity may reverse completely.
An observant onlooker may see the “cavity” darken in color first sometimes becoming almost black in color. The good news is that underneath the cavity, the tooth is healing with nice hard (white) tooth. In about six to nine months of healing, the dark part may peal away a bit like a scab on a healed flesh wound. Sometimes you may need your dentist to fill any defect or remove this stained “scab” sometimes the dark part may polish off at a dental cleaning.
No harmful stains:
I know of no permanent or negative staining ever produced by the use of ACT and xylitol together. The benefits certainly are amazing. I wish ACT were colorless and had a bunch of better ingredients but it really works!!
For white and shiny teeth my system is wonderful. Closys helps remove surface staining from teeth and Listerine + ACT will help you develop hard, mineral rich enamel that will resist staining.
I drink tea, coffee, red wine and eat blueberries often…..without any concern. You should be able to do this also.

Kiss Your Dentist Goodbye – chapter on Whitening and Fluoride:
My book explains the “myth” about tooth whitening since enamel is not a color it is translucent  clear like glass. Staining of teeth sometimes happens when people start my program they notice it at the gum line. This stain is really the remnants of dead plaque.

Harmful sticky bacteria can be tightly attached to cement on the root sides and as the plaque bacteria “die off” this attachment can keep them stuck to the tooth. This is a stain at the edge around the gum line – and sometimes between teeth.
The bacteria are dead so your gums will be healthier than ever but this film of debris just needs to be cleaned away. I often refer to this dead plaque as “leaves in the fall” . Once they are swept away by your hygienist at your next cleaning they should not return providing you keep your toothbrush clean, and have enough xylitol in approximately 5 separate exposures each day.
Hope this alleviates your concerns,
Best Wishes,
Ellie
Ellie Phillips DDS
Dental Health for Everyone!
author, Kiss Your Dentist Goodbye
26, Corporate Woods, Rochester NY 14623




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