Q&A with Dr. Ellie: “That’s Not What My Hygienist Said!”

Every month Dr. Ellie Phillips will answer your oral health questions as part of the Ultimate Oral Health Guide.


Q: Hi Dr. Phillips,
I went to my new hygienist and she advised me against using Listerine because it contains several strong chemicals and some research suggests it is carcinogen.Could you please comment on this and are there any alternatives to Listerine as part of your system?Thank you very much for your time.-JM———

A: Hi JM,

I make no money from promoting any product – and I understand how patients are told many things by different health professionals.
The test is whether or not you have been successful and if today you enjoy great oral health – then follow their directions.

I put my efforts into helping those who have tried hard to follow advice but continue to suffer cavities, gum disease, recession, sensitivity and erosion. These people are not sure why this damage happened. I try to explain that advice is often not based on fact, nor on science.

My book, Kiss Your Dentist Goodbye, explains the chemistry of my system. My blog answers questions and the Facebook testimonials explain that my system works.

Listerine ingredients are three essential oils (eucalyptus, menthol and thymol) – not chemicals – many studies support its amazing effectiveness. The problem with Listerine is its acidity (a pH of 4.2) and my system addresses how we deal with this. The other problem with Listerine is the alcohol that it contains – which is mouth-drying. My system addresses this alcohol problem – by rinsing it away with ACT rinse.

About 5 years ago some studies pointed a finger at Listerine and linked it with cell destruction.
It was published in the Telegraph I think – but later it was found that these studies were funded by a competitor company in Australia – that had a new herb mouth rinse product. Skin cells were placed in test tubes which is not a “fair test” of how Listerine works with cells in the mouth.

In closing, I can only tell you that I use my system, my entire family, friends, employees and thousands and thousands of patients, clients and other dentists. We all not only use this system but recommend it to others who are looking for sustainable oral health.

I hope that answers your questions  – but I understand that you need to decide whom you trust and whom you follow. My system does not work unless it is followed exactly – with xylitol and the precise oral care products. In UK you may have trouble finding the products – so maybe you are best following your hygienist at this time.

Best wishes,
Dr. Ellie


For more information, please visit all of Dr. Ellie’s web-sites:

Dr. E Oral Health Coaching – articles, resources and videos to help you learn more
Zellies.com – learn more & order your Zellies Xylitol & the Complete Mouth Care System
Dr. Ellie.com – a great resource for learning more about oral health & Dr. Ellie

Join the conversation online on the Zellies Facebook page!

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  • Gi says:

    I Know you mention to only use regular or Coolmint listerine. Is the Freshburst Listerine ok to use for the system?

    • I am not sure, but it may be fine. I only recommend the other two because I KNOW they work. The original flavor whitens teeth better than Cool Mint. I use the original flavor myself.

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