Best Action After Lunch

Hi Dr. Ellie,

I recently bought your book and ordered the Xylitol mints.

The book was great and I love the mints.

I am fortunate enough to work at a job where if I so choose, I can brush and floss after lunch.

After I eat lunch I am always sure to suck on at least 7 of the half gram Xylitol mints.

However besides that, after lunch, which of the following activities would be the most effective and efficient:

-Brushing and flossing

-Just brushing and rinsing

-Just flossing and rinsing

-No need to brush or floss, post lunch Xylitol mints are enough

and will be fine until my end-of-night regimen


Hi M,

The answer to your question depends on your immune system!

The goal of Ultimate Oral Care is to PROTECT TEETH.

This is different from our previous thinking where traditionally we have been trained to worry about “cleaning” teeth.

Our goal must be to establish a healthy biofilm ( this is formed naturally from healthy saliva – and coats the outside of your teeth to protect them).

Our goal is NOT to scrub our teeth or denude them.

Women generally have acidic saliva, and therefore have a harder time forming this “pellicle/biofilm” .

Someone with a dry mouth would also need to be very careful NOT to clean their teeth too often.

People with acidic or dry mouth will be more affected when they take antibiotics or use products that damage this biofilm (peroxide and baking soda).

This is when I often suggest probiotics for tooth protection – or finishing a meal with plain, organic yogurt + some Zellies!

If you are healthy, have alkaline saliva and a “moist” mouth – cleaning you teeth three times a day would not be a problem – ( although it may not be necessary).

If you have dry mouth, acidic saliva, or a weak immune system ( diabetic, arthritis, intestinal inflammation, asthma etc) then limit tooth cleaning to twice a day.

Personally I rinse my teeth with water after eating – since my saliva is often acidic and my mouth dry (factors = stress, woman, speaking for a living!)

Generally I rinse with water after eating and then eat a Zellie mint or some gum.

Rinsing is effective to remove food particles from teeth – and xylitol helps to stimulate a flow of alkaline saliva to promote the formation of a protective pellicle.

Once you have established this smooth “film” over your teeth – you will begin to “feel” or “notice” when it is missing.

Certain drinks – like coffee – take it away and make you “need” Zellies to replace it.

I cannot eat cooked spinach or rhubarb any longer – the oxalic acid in these products denudes my teeth – and make them feel rough and sticky.

Only those on my program understand this conversation – and how anyone can “feel” teeth.

I hope this complex answer helps you to understand why I do not discuss flossing as a method of protecting teeth ( ?it may clean away debris- but does nothing to develop healthy biofilm ).

I also wanted to explain why advice that works for one person will not work for another.

Best Wishes,

Dr. Ellie Phillips DDS
Solutions for Oral Health

Categories: Uncategorized