Decay never targets one tooth. Cavity-forming germs live all over the mouth and even in saliva. If you have recently had a cavity, or been told you have one, it means cavity-forming germs are attacking every surface of every tooth, all day, every day (and particularly at night). These germs do not go away by themselves and worse yet, you can kiss them to others – especially to babies and kids in your family.
The really bad news is that a “filling” does nothing to get rid of these germs. In fact, they will attack the new filling, and probably erode its edges within a couple of years (this is called recurrent caries by your dentist).
If you want to stop a cavity or reverse one, you must do more than brush and floss. You need to:
- Eradicate cavity-forming germs
- Eat and drink well
- Protect your teeth from acidity
- Use products that strengthen enamel
- Help teeth re-build themselves
- Use an oral care system that makes teeth more acid-resistant
- Know what may put you at greater risk
1. Eradicate Cavity Germs
The only way to naturally eradicate cavity-forming germs is with xylitol. You only need 1-2 teaspoons a day (in small doses), but you need xylitol at opportune times –when cavity bacteria multiply. Mouth germs flourish after meals or when your mouth is dry or acidic. Xylitol can eradicate 92% of cavity-forming germs in an effective, progressive way.
2. Eat and Drink Well
I focus a lot on the fact that teeth need correct care and protection, but it’s also important to remember diet is important. Try to limit your total intake of sugary foods and drinks. I suggest keeping drinks to meal times as much as possible and avoid sipping on drinks for extended period of time. Select snacks that are tooth friendly, like cheese, nuts, or vegetables. You will feel better on a healthier diet, and some people benefit from additional whole-food vitamin supplements and digestive probiotics for a few months – at least as they begin or change to healthier life habits!
3. Protect Teeth from Acidity
Acidity weakens teeth by dissolving minerals out of them. This process is usually at its peak after eating, snacking, or after drinks that are acidic or contain sugar. When teeth are sufficiently damaged, they will crumble into holes – known as cavities. The simplest way to protect teeth from acidic damage is to eat Zellies Mints or Gum after every meal, snack, or drink.
4. Use Products that Strengthen Teeth
It is possible to naturally repair a tooth. Minerals are easily eroded out of a tooth, but there is also a way for them to be replaced back again. Re-mineralization is the name for the “putting back of minerals” into a tooth. The sooner you begin to re-mineralize a cavity, the quicker it will reverse. If a cavity is ignored it becomes more difficult to stop, because bacteria travel deeper into the tooth. Xylitol and the correct use of fluoride can strengthen and re-mineralize teeth.
5. Help Teeth Re-build Themselves
Saliva in a healthy mouth is super-saturated with the exact minerals necessary to repair teeth. It’s good to let teeth interact with saliva, but the quality of our saliva varies. Saliva is diluted when you sip liquids and stress, hormones, pregnancy, medications and a variety of health problems affect its mineral content. Saliva is least helpful when we are sleeping at night, and is at its maximum capability to mineralize teeth in the afternoon. Try eating a healthy lunch, followed by some Zellies, and then give your teeth a few hours when you do not eat or drink during the afternoon.
6. Use an Oral Care System that makes Teeth More Acid-Resistant
Certain products can speed up the transfer of minerals from saliva to enamel. Used in a specific way, these products can help the new enamel become stronger and more resistant to acidic damage. We recommend Zellies and the Complete Mouth Care System.
7. Know What May Put You at Greater Risk
Some people have a dry mouth or saliva problems – often damage from radiation, mediations, chemotherapy, or disease. These people have no saliva to protect or repair their teeth. It is crazy to think that in the past doctors recommended people with a dry mouth suck lemon candies – which would be the worst thing for their teeth! Xylitol can greatly help a dry mouth and research shows that eating xylitol mints can reduce the risk of tooth decay by 40%.
Zellies are important for oral health – because they help in so many ways:
- Xylitol eliminates cavity-forming bacteria
- Xylitol helps protect teeth from acidic damage (especially when used after meals and drinks or when your mouth is dry)
- Xylitol helps re-build enamel and works in harmony with fluoride to strengthen and re-mineralize teeth
- Xylitol stimulates healthy saliva
- Xylitol is protective help for a dry mouth
- Xylitol makes it easier to clean teeth by loosening plaque
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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
Dr. E Oral Health Coaching – articles, resources and videos to help you learn more
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Categories: Acidity, Cavities, Complete Mouth Care System, Dry Mouth, Mouth Care, Natural Solutions, Prevention, Remineralization, Ultimate Oral Health, Xylitol
What are Zelies? If they are a mint, what do they taste like?? Thanks
Zellies are mints, gum or candies that are made with 100 percent xylitol, a sweetener that has many health benefits.
Zellies have nothing artificial in them – and they taste delicious – only natural flavorings and high quality xylitol!
Zellies Inc. is a company that promotes Zellies mints, gum and candies in a program that teaches people about oral health and how to prevent cavities and dental disease.
When Zellies products are used as part of a specific daily routine (or system) it is possible to improve your oral health, diminish cavities, and often make cavities heal naturally. It is also possible (with good nutrition and good brushing techniques) to prevent plaque build up, gum damage, recession, periodontal pockets, gum disease, and bad breath.
Zellies products are pretty cool (and quite amazing) when used as part of the Zellies Complete Mouth Care System!
You just have to remember that everything that goes into your mouth affects your teeth in some way. Food and drinks, be they healthy or not overall, impact how your teeth look. You want to rinse your mouth out periodically to keep cavity causing bacteria from hanging around.
I just bought a refill of the ACT rinse at a major retailer and noticed that, although the fluoride concentration is the same, the formula has changed. I also noticed that the name of the product has changed from ACT Anticavity Fluoride Mouth Rinse to ACT Anticavity Fluoride Mouthwash.
Dr. Ellie, what are your thoughts on the ACT change?
We have directed questions to the ACT manufacturer ( Chattem) who assure us that the formation has not changed. They have re-worked the list of ingredients to be in line with label requirements – so these are now listed in a different order. I understand your concern – but I am assured the product is the same.
Only one thing I warn people – there is a larger bottle that “looks” similar but has half the strength of fluoride. Try to check that you have 0.05% sodium fluoride in the rinse you are using, and remember that the one I recommend is 18 oz size and generally the least expensive choice!
Dr. Ellie – thanks for the research and reply. I’m glad to hear that the ACT formulation is not changing. However, I just learned that I need to stop buying the 33.8 oz size because it only has 0.02% sodium fluoride.
Hi Dr. Ellie, I just purchased your Complete Mouth Care Kit and I am very anxious to start using it. However, I have dry mouth. I have been to several doctors and dentists and can’t seem to find out why I have developed this condition. I was wondering what you might recommend to your own patients to help with this besides the three rinses. I know your program helps your teeth but what might help the dry mouth? I have been drinking water like crazy.
So far, my dentist and doctors have only told me to use the Biotene products which don’t seem to help at all. Do you know anything about the drugs Salagen or Evoxac for dry mouth? I would deeply appreciate any advice you may have regarding this condition.
Thank you so much,
Thanks for you message. I don’t have enough information to diagnose why you have a dry mouth – but I can give you a couple of things to think about. Stress and hormonal changes are probably the primary reason for dry mouth. These conditions cause imbalance to the digestive system – which affects saliva quality and quantity. This is often temporary, but if you start taking medications, these can confuse the situation, and prolong it.
I prefer to recommend:
1) you pay great attention to your diet and include some kind of fresh fruits and veggies at most meals ( fresh pineapple is very helpful)
2) take a good (food derived) vitamin supplement
3) Take digestive Probiotics ( I like Garden of Life Raw Probiotics for men/women).
I’d take this dietary route for about two months, and then re-evaluate your situation. Mark your start date on a calendar – so you know when the two months is completed! You have to be patient with nature since the benefits from improving digestive health do not show for a couple of weeks. Once fixed, you will see many health benefits – including in the quality of your saliva, teeth, and gum health.
Xylitol is very beneficial for mouth and gut health – so add a half-teaspoon of granular xylitol to your water each morning and also into the water that you drink in the evening or night. Zellies cool fruit or cool mint mints are wonderful for refreshing the mouth and stimulating a flow of saliva (especially during the night). Xylitol works in harmony with probiotics – so ensure you have at least 5 exposures to xylitol each day.
Lastly, avoid Biotene any brand of sensitive toothpaste – they seem to worsen the sensation of dry mouth. My system will get rid of sensitivity in your teeth by a process of natural repair – not an artificial “band-aid”. Make sure you are using the mouth rinse system exactly as we recommend – with no water rinsing between the steps. You will be fine with the Listerine as part of the system – but you may want to shorten the length of this rinse to 15-30 secs at first. Keep the other rinses to a minute – not more, not less!
We would love to hear back from you in a couple of months with any of your observations or comments. It’s good if we can share stories and help others who may be confused about what to do for a dry mouth.
Using Xyletol or xyletol toothpaste really helps to keep the dental problems way. Brushing and flossing after the main meals also prevents the bacterial growth in the gums. Thanks for sharing such useful tips for preventing gum diseases.
My advice is to try rinsing with xylitol in water after meals (to wash away food particles). It is more effective than brushing or flossing if you want “bacterial” cleaning. Gentle flossing can help dislodge food particles – but be careful not to make your gums bleed, and don’t believe flossing will change bacteria in your mouth – because it can’t!
I have used your regimen to great success… my sensitivity is gone and a fissure on a molar that had been thinking about turning into a cavity has been hardened back up. I have a good friend who has the most extensive decay I have ever seen. I’m talking medieval levels of tooth decay. His teeth are so compromised that I don’t even know if any are salvageable. He is terrified of the dentist, and refuses to go because he will certainly have to have root canals or extractions done on most if not all of his teeth. Because he does not have any pain, I wonder if his teeth only look horrible and can actually be saved. Will this system work on very advanced decay? He’s only 24, and I would hate for him to be in dentures or have a mouthful of implants before he’s 30. His diet is atrocious, too. I want to help him, but I’m not even sure where to start. I feel if he does go to a dentist, they will not take a conservative approach with his teeth just because of how they look, but delaying the dentist and continuing with poor diet and hygiene can’t be helping either…
We cannot help people who do not want to be helped – it’s a lesson I have learned over the years. I walk around my brother’s house and find toothpaste and rinses that I prefer to see in the garbage……my brother doesn’t listen to me!
If anyone with teeth uses this system – things will get better. There is no risk in using this system since it addresses the health of your gums and teeth. It will adjust the mouth bacteria and harden up teeth – so they will be stronger. Once teeth are stronger and harder – fillings will be more successful.If he will use this program, he will stop things getting worse( unless a tooth is already dead).
A diet can be terrible and still my system will work. The biggest problem is drinks. Try to persuade your friend to keep drinks to actual meal times – not between meals. Then eat a Zellie mint or gum after every meal, snack or drink. If it is difficult to have him use the entire system – at least have him rinse with ACT rinse. Once his teeth begin to feel better he will probably start to be more interested in using the Complete Mouth Care System. Good luck to you both!
Let me know the outcome if you do persuade him to give this a try. Maybe have him take pictures on his phone – possibly once a month. Perhaps one day he can put them up as an example to encourage others – like some of the weight loss pictures posted on yahoo this week!
I’ve been doing your system for 6 months after having four cavities filled last year. These were the first I’ve had in my life, I’m 25. I was on Adderall for a year that caused horrible dry mouth but I am off it now however I am still stuck with a slight case of dry mouth for unknown reasons. I’ve also tried fermented cod liver oil mixed with butter oil, coconut oil pulling, putting two tablespoons of xytiol in my water bottle at work, using zellies constantly, no soda/acidic foods ever. (I’m on a low acid diet due to bladder issues.) I still have to go get a crown put on a tooth I have already previously had filled. I’m at my wits end and I don’t know what to do anymore. Suggestions please?
I’d like to ensure that “the system” you mention is the exact mouth care routine – exactly as suggested, using exact toothpaste, exact products, exact order, no water between the steps etc.etc. Every detail is vital – especially for someone with a dry mouth. Using this routine will strengthen your teeth, protecting them during the night – and people with dry mouth, who use this last thing before bed, will benefit from having a dry mouth, because the benefits do not get washed off your teeth. You may also want to use a xylitol nasal spray just before bed each night. ( Xlear is sold in most health food stores).
Also, my suggestion is to eat Zellies mints spaced out after everything you eat or drink – multiple times throughout the day. My guess is that your saliva is acidic – so you need these for an alkaline intermission during the day. Do not eat or drink for 2 hours after lunch – allow your teeth time without sipping or drinking anything. I’d also suggest digestive probiotics – and although it may take a few weeks to see the effects, my guess is that you will slowly notice a benefit in your mouth health as these work. Garden of Life appear to be a very effective brand that we recommend.
I recently visited my dentist and he said I had a developmental groove in my tooth that needed filling. What are those and how I can I prevent them? Will your system fill those in as well?
Unfortunately I don’t know your age – and dentists call lots of things by names that are too generic to mean anything to another dentist!
I guess this is some kind of irregularity in a tooth. If you are seventy years old and it has never been a problem, then I think this dentist is looking for a source of income! If you are fifteen, then he or she may be concerned that this area of your tooth is at risk for trapping cavity bacteria, and so filling it in advance could be the idea.
My entire teaching is that filling grooves or early cavities in teeth (either with fillings or sealants) does nothing to deal with the actual problem – cavity bacteria. I prefer to recommend you get rid of cavity bacteria and improve oral health with Zellies and my Complete Mouth Care System, – then wait. Let your dentist observe this area, and tell you if it is getting healthier or if he remains worried about it. If the irregularity is on a tooth that you can photograph – I’d suggest you keep a documentary about this – you may even see the surface smooth itself sometimes ( over a period of years).
Thank you so much for all your wonderful advice, Dr Ellie! Thank you for taking the time to answer questions!
I have two questions:
1. I have some cavities on the right side of my mouth. I just had a dental exam, xrays, cleaning, etc today. My dentist wants to wait and see, he says the cavities are very minor and doesn’t think they need to be filled, so we are “watching them” before my next appointment in 6 months. In the last couple of days, I have had tooth sensitivity on that side of my mouth, a little bit of soreness when chewing, and a pulsating nerve/vein on my forehead, sometimes going behind my ear, with a bit of a headache. My cheeks also feel different, not painful just weird. I plan to use your system To hopefully reverse the cavities. ***My question is, is it possible my dentist missed something huge going on,which are causing me the headaches and pulsating nerve in my head? I am afraid it is a tooth abscess or something very bad.
2. Can a cavity which is visible to the eye, which “sticks” when using an explorer at the dental office, still be reversed using the system? Or is there no hope for a cavity like this? When is it too late to try to reverse a cavity naturally and just get it filled?
So sorry about my long question! I look forward to hearing back. Thank you!!!
I did a small edit on your questions, but I read and fully understand your fears and many concerns. Tooth sensitivity can be very frightening and it creates all kinds of weird symptoms and toothaches around the jaw. Your first step should be to act on what you know – that you have a progressive cavity problem in your mouth and a bunch of starting cavities. I find it strange to “wait and watch” a progressive disease. Unless you use xylitol – you will simply wait for the infection to eat more of your tooth.
There are three steps to the process of cavity reversal: STOP – PREVENT – REVERSE. Healing will only occur if you tackle the issues in this order. First you must STOP cavity bacteria, or they will continue to erode your teeth. Xylitol is the only way I know to eradicate cavity bacteria. ( I’d suggest you get the Complete Mouth Care System from our site – and it comes complete with two jars of Zellies 100 percent xylitol mints.Other xylitol may not work as well for a number of reasons).
You need at least 6.5 grams xylitol each day – ideally in five (or more) one-gram amounts (preferably straight after anything that you eat or drink). Try to drink only at mealtimes – because teeth need time to interact with your saliva. Go on a healthy diet, and consider some whole-food vitamins and probiotics from Garden of Life brand ( they have Raw Probiotics for women of various ages which are very good). This gentle approach will attack the harmful bacteria in your mouth and achieve the first step – to STOP the infection.
Of course use the Complete Mouth Care System as soon as possible, but it’s effect on healing cannot kick into gear until you have the infection under control. Imagine an infection on any part of your body. For example, there is no way for a cut on your finger to heal while it is infected. Teeth are exactly the same. This is why you will never get real remineralizing and tooth repair without using an adequate amount of xylitol ( it takes about one month).
My guess is that once you have reversed these cavities your teeth will start to feel much better and healthier. Hopefully my next book will be out by then and you can read why good nutrition helps teeth, the role of probiotics, and why acidic tooth erosion causes so much pain. I wish you success and I am sure you can reverse these cavities, even the one that had a stick!
Dr Ellie, THANK YOU so much for your reassuring and encouraging words, and for the detailed answer. Thank you again for taking the time (I know you are very busy) to answer questions – you very helpful and very compassionate. Thank you very much! I wish you all the very best as you work on your new book. I will be the first in line to buy it!:)!
Whole food vitamins and Probiotics from Garden of life – Thanks for the recommendation!
Whole Food Vitamins, found this online: http://www.gardenoflife.com/Products-for-Life/Vitamin-Code/Multivitamin-Formulas/Womens-Formula.aspx
Raw Probiotics for Women, found this online: http://www.gardenoflife.com/Products-for-Life/RAW-Digestion/RAW-Probiotics-Women.aspx
Both are apparently carried at my local health store. The whole food vitamins says it also contains live probiotics. In order to aid in gently fighting off infection, what would you advise? Taking the raw probiotics alone for now, or just the whole food vitamins for now since it also contains probiotics, or both products?
One more question please – When I come to the part of rinsing with ACT in the system, I squish it around vigorously in my mouth, and it feels like a little extra salty saliva (or liquid?) is added to the ACT/Saliva in my mouth. I can tell where the salty stuff is coming from in my mouth. It’s not horrible, just a little salty, different from my regular saliva which is tasteless. I have also been feeling/tasting it at other times even when I am not rinsing. Had a dental cleaning yesterday, not sure if it’s related. Or maybe I am squishing too hard?
Thank you very much once again!
I think your choice of Probiotic depends on how you would rate the quality of your diet and the general health of your digestion. If your digestion needs help I’d go for Raw Probiotics. If you digestions and diet are good, you may want to give your health a boost with the Whole Food Vitamins. I think you should start this for a few weeks before you try to assess new tastes and feels in your mouth. You are about to repopulate your mouth with a whole new kind of “garden”. Just ensure you spit the ACT out as well as possible – I usually spit until my spit is no longer green!Double check you have EXACTLY the correct products – I can’t stress this enough.
Great to know – Thank you, Thank you, Thank you Dr E! Much appreciated:) Will keep you posted!
Dear Dr Ellie
I am 57 years old with chronic historic gum disease. I have only needed scaling and root planning to control the disease. 1 am currently wearing a brace to help me keep (for as long as possible) one of my front teeth that was loose and had dropped down. I have dry mouth and think this was the reason for my problems as I have always brushed, flossed etc.. but didn’t realise my teeth were in trouble and my previous dentist decided not to tell me, NHS United Kingdom not very good!
My question is: I am just about to begin your routine but wonder how often I should brush as I am told I should brush after each meal (I am making sure no snacks in between).
I have been using the Xylitol for the last couple of months.
I am sorry it has taken a while to reply to your post. I hope by now you are seeing results of using xylitol – just remember that Zellie’s were specifically designed to help improve oral health and many other brands include ingredients that are not helpful.
I also hope you are using the Complete Mouth Care System and have explored the important instructions about it – like using exact products, using it no more than 3 times a day – and always last thing at night. Here is a link to the detail of this system – you CAN turn things around….LINK
Hi Dr. Ellie,
I just had a question about some small black lines that have recently appeared on the top surface of my molars. They are very tiny — almost like little dark hairs. Within the past two weeks, I have noticed them appear, as if overnight, on two of my back molars. At first I thought they were just stains from food I’d eaten (a bit of chocolate, and another time, some raisins), but they haven’t gone away. When they first appeared, I could kind of brush them and they’d diminish a little. Now they seem to be staying, like they are caught in the groove of my teeth.
I’ve been using your system for a little over a month now, and other than these little black lines appearing, I absolutely love it! I can feel my gums getting healthier and my teeth stronger nearly every day. I’m a 26 year-old female, and due to stress/bad brushing techniques in the past, I’ve struggled with receding gums (but no cavities ever!) Your system seems to be helping my gums/teeth HUGELY, along with proper diet, probiotics, and an abundance of Zellies. I can’t thank you enough! 🙂
Should I be concerned about the little black lines, or will they go away with time? Also, is there anything else I can do to prevent my gums from receding any further? At this point, I’ve pretty much given up coffee, tea, sugar, wine, citrus drinks, etc…
THANK YOU!! <3
Don’t give up all the good things like coffee and wine !! You can protect your teeth with Zellie’s – and it sounds as if that is what you are doing. Congratulations! The black lines may be old dead plaque – which can stain teeth during the first 6 months on the program. I discovered that a slightly firmer toothbrush you help you to avoid them. Maybe try a medium toothbrush – rather than a soft one. Also if the stain is between your teeth – you may want to floss gently. Floss at the stage when you have toothpaste on your teeth – so you move some toothpaste between teeth as you floss. The toothpaste will be helpful to dislodge the stains if they are between teeth.
I would love to hear more about your improved mouth health in the upcoming months – please stay in touch!
I just want to throw this info out there. If you plan to add xylitol to your daily oral care routine, be aware that xylitol is toxic to dogs and cats. 5g of xylitol can cause liver failure/death in a 20lb dog. Keep out of reach, especially gum, which people tend to leave laying around.
Hi Dr. Ellie!
I got on your mouth care system several years ago after paying thousands of dollars to have my cavities filled. I noticed a great improvement in my oral health, but in the last year, I really slacked off with using my xylitol, and now the dentist says I have two new cavities. He says they have gone past the first layer of enamel and will not heal themselves. He says the only thing I can do is to have them filled. Ha! Do you think if I go back to using the xylitol every day, that it will reverse my cavities? Thank you for everything that you do. Your information has saved me much time and anguish trying to figure out how to properly care for my teeth.
Teeth do not mysteriously get cavities. I wish I could shout this from the rooftop!!!
Tooth damage is a balance between damage and repair. How much do you damage your teeth? (Using Zellie’s after every meal, snack and drink alkalizes the mouth and prevents acidic damage). The Complete Mouth Care System – when used exactly as described- strengthens and repairs teeth. That is the second part of this equation….it is an incredibly effective method that boosts repair.
The two things used together are always successful.
So, my advice – 1) look at how could your teeth become damaged? (Maybe you are not using enough xylitol for protection after drinks, snacks etc) and 2) Use the Complete Mouth Care System every night and one or two other times during the day. Your cavities will re-mineralize over a few months. Cavities DON’T just happen!
Hello Dr Ellie,
I am also at my wit’s end…Been going to holistic dentist…
I am 44 years old and have had three teeth extracted and a root canal in the past four years as well as was just told I have three cavities! I just had one filled with porcelin but found your site and want to wait before I fill the others…if the cavities are deep can they still be reversed?
Also I just had an implant fail…ugh
my questions are:
I had floxie poisoning I believe a year ago with a cipro iv and many health problems since then…I was told to stay away from anything fluoride and you suggest many products with fluroide will that be ok?
also listerine always gives me canker sores is there any other alternative?(probably not)
also can I just rinse with xylitol-not eat it in mints candy ect?
thank you I wish I found you much sooner…
You will have to either trust me or work with me so that I can convince you that you NEED my system of care. Yes, I agree that fluoride has a horrible reputation – that is well deserved – but extractions are unacceptable too! Think of fluoride like sun-screen. Not everyone needs it. We don’t drink it. BUT if you do need it – you need it! Trust me and why not try my system for a few weeks – see how it feels and what happens to your teeth. You must get the exact products and follow the EXACT method. This way the Listerine will not bother your mouth. I can work with you one-on-one but it comes at a $$ cost. Let me know if you need me to put you through my coaching program. Here is a link to my booklet as a start: