UK Substitutes for Dr. Ellie’s System

Dear Dr. Ellie:

I live in the UK and have been trying out your system for a few months now and I love it! I have some updates on the products available in the UK.

Retardex and Listerine: are still both widely available. Retardex is supposed to have a fluoride-free version, according to their website, but I’ve never seen it available anywhere, even online, even though they claim it is. It’s best to shop around for regular Retardex because prices differ widely. Original Listerine isn’t available in as many places as cool mint-the most popular and cheapest flavour-but is still fairly easy to find and if you look around you can find bargain prices.

Xylitol: Perfect Sweet has changed it’s name and is now called Total Sweet. You can also get Peppersmith Xylitol mints and gum, made with birch tree Xylitol; Spry gum is available in some places and is cheaper than Peppersmith; XylitolUK do bags of granules, granules in small sachets for tea and coffee and things like Xylitol chocolate and honey, which I’ve never tried. This brand is not widely available in shops at all but you can buy online-I’ve only bought the small sachets in shops-they are birch tree Xylitol. Sadly, I’ve not seen anywhere that sells your Zellies here yet and not even Amazon UK seems to ship them-unless you know differently.

Crest Original: in Britain, I assume this is the toothpaste called Crest Decay Prevention, Mild Mint. It’s not widely available at all, though you do see it in the odd shop and you can buy it online. I think there may be a problem with this paste, though, as there seem to be 2 different formulations available, one which contains at least one ingredient that you don’t approve of-sodium bicarbonate. I’m not sure whether this new, dubious, formulation is replacing the old one, or exists for some other reason, but you seem to see it more often now.

Here’s the ingredients list for the ‘benign’ Crest, which you don’t see often: Aqua, Sorbitol, Hydrated Silica, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Cellulose Gum, Aroma, Carbomer, Limonene, Sodium Fluoride (1450ppm), Sodium Saccharine, Trisodium Phosphate, Cl 77891

Here are the ingredients of the other ‘dubious’ Crest decay prevention mild mint, packaged in identical boxes, made in Germany like the other one: Aqua, Sorblitol, Hydrated Silica, Disodium Pyrophosphate, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Cellulose Gum, Sodium Hydroxide, Aroma, Sodium Bicarbonate, Carbomer, Sodium Fluoride, Sodium Saccharine, Xanthan Gum, Cl77891, Limonene. As you can see, it now contains the dreaded sodium bicarbonate, among other things. As I’ve said, this seems to be the variety most regularly sold in shops now.

However, don’t despair quite yet, as I think I may have found an acceptable substitute paste! Only you can tell me whether you approve of it but I’ve been using it when the ‘benign’ Crest isn’t available. It’s a fairly new toothpaste called Oral B 1-2-3 fresh mint fluoride toothpaste, and is very widely available, at a reasonable price, being a basic paste. It is made by Procter and Gamble-the same company which makes Crest-and has the exact same ingredient list as the ‘benign’ Crest, and the same level of fluoride, the only difference being that the latter half of the ingredients are in a slightly different order to Crest decay prevention, which presumably means they are in slightly different amounts.

Here are the ingredients of Oral B 1-2-3: Aqua, Sorbitol, Hydrated Silica, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Cellulose Gum, Aroma, Sodium Fluoride (1450ppm), Carbomer, Sodium Saccharine, Cl 77891, Trisodium Phosphate, Limonene. Please let me know what you think and whether this is Ok as a substitute.

Colgate Fluorigard Alcohol-Free:is still widely available and you can get bargains if you keep your eyes peeled. I have noticed on Amazon UK that there’s a seller who supplies ACT rinse, but it’s shipped from America and, as well as being over five pounds for a bottle to start with, as far as I can make out, the postage costs even more than the product itself!

Stockists: I’ve included these separately, so you don’t have to use them if you put any of the information on your site. I’m not on commission from any of them! 🙂 Most of the stuff is available to buy online. Retardex, Listerine and Fluorigard are widely available in large chemists and supermarkets like Boots, Wilkinson, Superdrug, Home Bargains, Tesco, Asda, Morissons, Sainsbury etc. and online. The ‘benign’ Crest is only available at the moment in the Co-Op, certainly in the North East of England, though I’ve seen people online say they’ve bought it at Tesco-I’ve never seen it for sale in there personally. There are only 2 other places that both sell Crest regularly in this area but it’s now only the ‘dubious’ version, with the sodium bicarbonate and other odd ingredients-these are Wilkinson and B&M Bargains. You can get Crest online but what version you’ll end up with, I don’t know. Oral B 1-2-3 is available virtually everywhere you can buy toothpaste. Total Sweet is available in health food shops, Holland and Barrett (a British health food chain), and supposedly Sainsbury and Waitrose. Peppersmith is available in Holland and Barrett. Spry gum, I’ve only seen in certain health food shops, as with XylitolUK.

I’ll finish by saying that your system is great! It’s very addictive and I have noticed positive results-I’d recommend it to other people. My teeth are a lot less sensitive and look brighter and whiter. They’ve also never felt cleaner. Thanks and keep up the good work!

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  • Anonymous says:

    Great post – thanks for making it. I have been trying to use this system for over a year now, but have been stumped on the toothpaste, as I haven't been able to locate Crest (other than via mail order). I started the Oral B 123 a few days ago, so am hopeful! 🙂

  • Dr. Ellie says:

    We thank those who have helped us put this list together – with great attention to detail.I welcome any ideas from people living in other countries – anyone with new ways to access products or put this system together.Travel is always a challenge for dental health – but living abroad poses many challenges and products are either unavailable or very difficult to find.I will contact the Closys manufacturers and also ACT and ask them for a list of where their products are currently available.We can then add this to our posting.Ellie

  • Robert says:

    Tesco sells an own-brand toothpaste which is virtually identical to ‘Crest Cavity Protection’, it’s a quarter the price of Oral-B 123.

    Tesco Everyday Value Toothpaste 75Ml ingredients:

    Aqua, Sorbitol, Hydrated Silica ,Silica ,Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Aroma, Cellulose Gum, Sodium Fluoride ,Sodium Saccharin, Hydroxyethylcellulose,CI 77891. Contains Sodium Fluoride 0.32% w/w (1450 ppm F)

    Any issues with that list, Dr Ellie?

    Thanks in advance.

    • The list of ingredients looks good and I think this toothpaste would certainly would be worth a try. It is impossible for me to say for sure how a different product will work as part of the system. Just like changing a cake recipe – it is all trial and error!
      I use my 30 years of experience with the system to suggest specific products. It was just luck that I found a particular combination of products works really well – and my life has been about trying to understand the biochemistry and then to share the news! Thanks so much for your suggestion.

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