Q&A with Dr. Ellie: What About Good Bacteria?

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


Q: I have just started using your system and am blown away by it. I have bought your book for other members of the family! There is just one thing, what happens to the good bacteria, is it wiped out with the bad guys?

– Pauline



Thanks for your question.

I began writing my book over 10 years ago – and since then I have learned a lot more about the biology of the mouth and the usefulness of “good” bacteria.

Interestingly my clinical observations fit with what we know today. The mouth rinses that I recommend protect the health of the “good” tissues and “good bacteria” and only appear to select out pathogens.

It appears that xylitol works as a pre-biotic, actually allowing healthy, non-sticky bacteria to flourish.

In the digestive system – xylitol becomes butyrate – a short chain fatty acid – that actually feeds the healthy digestive bacteria (in a similar way). In fact, people with digestive issues often see improvements when they use xylitol – although they are advised to start slowly with a half dose to begin.

The way that xylitol works is that plaque bacteria absorb xylitol into their cell (as if it were sugar), every time you eat some.

Xylitol is a five-carbon molecule – unlike sugar which is a 6 carbon molecule. Being a different size, the plaque bacteria are unable to use it for energy. This means they cannot reproduce, cannot produce acids (to harm teeth) and cannot stick together (they have no energy to produce the sticky strands).

The outcome is that plaque cannot “grow”, cannot damage teeth and is easier to remove when you use a good mouth rinse! No killing takes place – it is natural selection!

I have been using this system for over 30 years and have never needed a cleaning – and my mouth feels wonderful every day. I am not alone with this – so I am very confident that this system creates a healthy, sustainable ecosystem in the mouth.

Hope this helps!

Best wishes,

Dr. Ellie


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For more information on oral health and xylitol, please visit all of Dr. Ellie’s web-sites:

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

Join the conversation online on the Zellies Facebook page!

About the Author Dr. Ellie

My passion is educating people about oral health. For decades I’ve worked with patients of all ages, in different countries, in high and low-risk communities, and from every walk of life. I’ve seen the same results over and over again –people who transformed their oral health – sometimes in days or weeks, even after they had suffered years of pain and frustration. It’s never too late, and my ways will give you the key to a lifetime of improved oral health.

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