Most readers know the Zellies Complete Mouth Care System employs 3 mouth rinses and specific toothpaste. The process is used morning and night, with small amounts of xylitol during the day, to make plaque slippery and help balance mouth health.

Kiss Your Dentist Goodbye explains how the system was developed and describes many success stories. There are additional testimonials and real-life experiences posted on our website and our facebook page, yet you may still be hesitant about some of the suggested products. Most dentists are familiar with the gentle benefits of Closys, and Grandma likely told you that Crest Cavity Protection Toothpaste was the best! The products I defend most often are Listerine and ACT.  In this month’s guide I will explain the reasons I endorse Listerine, and in the August guide I will explain why I endorse ACT in this system of care.

Why I recommend Listerine

Listerine has been by far the most widely used mouth rinse in history, but for at least 10 years US, English and Australian scientific associations have argued about the safety of Listerine. Listerine had a rough ride in 2004 when it launched an advertising claim (backed by good studies) that twice a day rinsing was as effective as flossing. A lawsuit ensued and a New York judge ordered stickers be placed to block out the claim on Listerine bottles. The ADA was flustered by the event and the notorious flossing lobby was obviously following close behind the scenes.

In a recent Australia study, mouth cells were tested in a laboratory and the results ignited new negative buzz about Listerine. Researchers know that cells tested in a lab dish behave very differently from cells in the body and also that at least 10 epidemiological studies over the past 30 years have proven the opposite is true. An important caveat is that an Australia company has developed a rinse comparable to Listerine and in direct competition for their market share!

I qualify my personal testimonial for Listerine by saying that I only recommend the Original or Cool Mint Listerine. I do NOT recommend newer formulations, especially the whitening, Zero, or plaque control Listerine, which have very different chemical composition and are not well tested. I only recommend Listerine as part of the Complete Mouth Care System, so teeth are protected from the acidity of Listerine by the toothpaste, and any alcohol is immediately washed away by ACT anticavity rinse.

The active ingredients in Listerine are essential oils – eucalyptus, menthol and thymol. They work to eliminate young plaque bacteria and studies show consistently that Listerine penetrates infected plaque better than any other rinse and achieves plaque control in 60 seconds (a fifth of the time needed for most other rinses). More importantly, bacteria do not develop resistance to essential oils. My only concern is the acidity of Listerine (pH 4.2), which is why it is important to use Listerine as part of the Zellies Complete Mouth Care System, not on it’s own.

Learn more about the Zellies Complete Mouth Care System by following these links:

Visit to order your Zellies Complete Mouth Care System today!


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 – learn more & order your Zellies Xylitol & the Complete Mouth Care System
Dr. – a great resource for learning more about oral health & Dr. Ellie

Join the conversation online on the Zellies Facebook page!

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Moms Oral Health Matters
  • Hi, I have just come across your mouth clean/care system. I live in the UK and the recommended products are very hard to find here, if I can they are very expensive, I guess coming from the States. What could I use instead? It is particularly the two recommended mouth washes Closys and ACT?

    Müge Phillips

  • Dr. Ellie,

    I started using your system about two weeks ago, and I love it. My teeth have never felt better, and I’m hoping that over time I can remineralize my teeth. I posted the system on facebook to tell my friend about it, and one mentioned that Crest uses stannous [tin] fluoride, which discolors your teeth. Have you had experience with discoloration of teeth?

    My friend says she’s now using Sensodyne Pronamel. It has non-stannous fluoride; it doesn’t have SLS (sodium lauryl sulfate), and it’s good at remineralizing tooth enamel, she says. Do you have experience with this product in your system, and would you recommend it?


    • The Crest that I recommend (Regular Crest) contains sodium fluoride. It is the newer types like Crest Pro-Health that contain stannous fluoride – a product I NEVER recommend and which can stain teeth badly. Sensodyne is never a choice of mine and I have never found any way to better mineralize teeth and build enamel than my specific system. I only wish in the USA we had the kind of equipment that can measure the strength of teeth – equipment that is in other countries. Then you and your friend could have a remineralizing “challenge” and measure your results so you could compare my system with Pronamel. [Spoiler alert – I am certain beyond a doubt that my system would win 🙂 haha!]

  • Hi Dr Ellie

    I have recently started using the system as recommended by a friend and I’m liking it so far. Crest toothpaste is difficult to get here in Australia, but we have found a distributor. We travel a lot and I’m wondering how feasible it is to travel with the whole system. I will obviously decant the rinses, but if room gets tight, it there one rinse that is more important? Thanks Jannine

  • Oral B 1 2 3 toothpaste is made by the same company and has the basically the same ingredients as the illusive Crest !

    • This may work, but I have no experience with Oral B as part of this system. In some countries people have had to improvise when products were not available. Some have had success with other products – many have not. I’d suggest at least you run a comparison. Maybe use the correct system for several months – then try this other paste. Don’t forget the importance of Zellies as part of any system!

  • Hello Dr. Ellies, first of all i am very impressed by your work. You do a really good job! I have a question about the toothpaste you recommend. I am from Europe/Germany an there the brand Crest is not available. Can you recommend another toothpaste which is available in Europe? Perhaps elmex does the same job? Listerine is here in the drugstores. Thanks a lot for your answer.

    • Hi and thanks for your question. I have several people in Germany who have successfully used Elmex. The main thing, if you cannot access Crest Cavity Protection toothpaste, is to look for a toothpaste that 1) has some sodium fluoride ( AVOID stannous fluoride – a metallic-based fluoride that will stain teeth), 2) NO glycerin ( since it seems to prevent remineralization) and 3) try to find a toothpaste that is not too abrasive.

      Good toothpaste has silica as the main ingredient, but there isn’t any way to tell how abrasive the silica is, just by looking at the label or package. Less expensive silica is coarsely ground and is often too abrasive (imagine sand-paper) which can damage teeth and gums. The abrasiveness of toothpaste is measured on a scale from 1 to 200, with the ideal toothpaste rated in the middle, being able to clean teeth but not too abrasive to cause damage!. A number around 100 indicates a toothpaste is safe for teeth, and Crest is rated around 95 on this scale.

      I believe you can buy ACT in Switzerland and Greece – and I know several gum companies sell 100 percent xylitol gum in Europe. Please keep in touch and let us know how the system works for you. We’d love to pass an endorsed “European” variation of the system to others!

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