Dear Dr. Ellie:
I’m currently using your recommended mouth care system and reading your book. There are a few questions I would like to ask you:
1. I know you don’t recommend using store brand of the named brand mouth rinses that are in the system, but I was wondering if it would be ok if I use the store brand mouth rinses to clean my toothbrush instead?
2. You recommended 12 hours between the mouth rinses, but I was wondering if you meant at least 12 hours in between or at most 12 hours in between to protect our teeth?
3. Would it be a good idea to brush our teeth immediately after having breakfast in the morning or eat some xylitol and wait a while before brushing?
4. How soon after eating should we have xylitol ? within a few minutes after, 10-15 minutes after?
5. Lastly, would it be all right if I always use the diluted Listerine instead of full strength? or should I gradually move to using the full strength? I guess my concern is whether diluted Listerine is just as good as the full strength Listerine.
Thank you for your time!
P.S: Due to some accidental clicking on the Closys website, I received a bunch of Closys coupons for their mouthrinse. I was wondering if perhaps you would like to have it in your office for your patients. I would gladly forward it onto you if you can give me the address of your office.
Thanks so much for the questions.I’ll try and work through them in order.
Is it okay to use store brand Listerine?
I would expect store brand Listerine to be fine for cleaning your toothbrush. But first I would want to know a little more about the condition of your mouth.
If you have excellent oral health, live in a single unit with little exposure to potential bacteria, then I’m sure it would be fine.
On the other hand, if you have pocketing and periodontal problems, live with multiple people in a shared unit, exposed to highly infected individuals I would buy the proven brand!! I guess it all depends on your risk of contracting disease.
At least, or at most 12 hours?
The idea of no more than 12 hours between cleanings comes from research on Listerine.
- Immature plaque bacteria begin their lives looking like little seeds. They have a hard outer shell and are spherical in shape.
- Essential oils in Listerine “pop” the outer shell of these seeds thus destroying immature plaque bacteria.
- Problem arise as these immature bacteria mature after 12 hours and become a new “filamentous” shape. (I hate to sound gross, but they look “worm like” as they mature and age after 12 hours).
- Once the bacteria change into this new shape, essential oils of Listerine can no longer “pop” them. This is why the suggestion is to use Listerine “every 12 hours is to control the development of plaque while it is in the immature spherical stage. But there is good news!!!! ……
With my system, we have a built-in “insurance” against those non- spherical, more developed bacteria! Closys does an excellent job of lifting them away. In addition (just in case that isn’t enough) ACT make plaque less able to stick to the outside of your teeth, and xylitol makes bacteria more slippery and easier to brush and rinse off teeth. So….with my system, we tackle plaque from all aspects not relying solely on essential oils.
This means that a 12 hour regimen is approximate when you use my system but it gives you a good idea. Anyone who goes a couple of days quickly notices the difference!
Brushing off to breakfast?
I clean my teeth after breakfast! Using Closys as a pre-rinse I start immediately after breakfast.
This gives me a few hours between cleaning my teeth and my next cup of coffee!
After my mid morning coffee I need Zellies immediately!
How soon should you eat xylitol?
Zellies should be eaten as soon as possible after meals, since plaque increases threefold at the end of a meal. This is the moment for us to try and stop plaque multiplying and Zellies provides the ammunition!
Can I always use dilute Listerine?
Don’t be too cautious with Listerine!
Yes, it is acidic but this acidity allows the dilute fluoride in ACT to create a stronger protective shell over your tooth a more acid-resistant enamel on the outside of your teeth. The stronger the Listerine the more acid resistant your teeth will become when you follow it with ACT.
This process could be likened to taking your teeth to the gym! When you first arrive at the gym a 2 pound weight may feel too heavy. You begin slowly with light weights….but as your muscles become stronger you will be able to comfortably lift heavier weights.
If you never increase the weights, you will not become stronger.
If you start with a weight that is too heavy, you may strain your muscles and hurt yourself. So you need to know what weigh is right for you at the start and it is better to start with a weight that is too light than one that is too heavy. This process of gradually increasing the weights, helps nature make you stronger.
Using Listerine followed by ACT is going to allow nature to strengthen your teeth.
If your teeth are sensitive now, you will slowly strengthen them a little at a time, and they will become less sensitive. Perhaps over the next year you will gradually be able to use the Listerine at full strength.
I hope I have explained these questions to you.
This seems like a long message but I hope you find it educational!
Wishing you a great weekend,
Ellie Phillips DDS
Dental Health for Everyone!
author, Kiss Your Dentist Goodbye
26, Corporate Woods, Rochester NY 14623