To Floss or Not to Floss: Dr. Ellie’s interview with the BBC

Hear Dr. Ellie’s interview on the BBC World Service!  

BBC World Service

From the BBC World Service: Flossing is widely recommended, but for those of us who do not floss, we might take comfort from an increasing number of dentists who believe it is not the best way to prevent tooth decay or gum disease. Tooth decay is caused when bacteria in the mouth digest sugar, producing acid which eats away at the teeth. Gum disease on the other hand, is caused by a film of bacteria on the teeth known as plaque which irritates the gums. So does flossing make any difference? Dr Nigel Carter is chief executive of the British Dental Health Foundation and Dr Ellie Phillips is a dentist in the US and author of Kiss Your Dentist Goodbye

Listen to the interview here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p014g808

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5 thoughts on “To Floss or Not to Floss: Dr. Ellie’s interview with the BBC

  1. Hi Dr Ellie! I’ve been learning about your mouth care system and xylitol with great interest. I live in the UK and have used a mouthwash called Dentyl Active for many years. For almost 20 years I have needed no fillings. Very regrettably, I do now need some small fillings because I had terrible advice from my dentist to drastically reduce my use of mouthwash (he said to use it once every 3 days). I’m so upset at myself for doing what he said despite my own 20-year evidence to the contrary.

    My question for you is, what do you think of Dentyl Active?

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    1. I cannot recommend or comment on products that I have never monitored, so I have nothing to say ( good or bad) about this particular rinse. One thing to say is that you had success with your oral health – and this is the goal. To reverse the damage that has now happened to your teeth, you will need to do a little work, but there’s no reason why you cannot reverse early, new cavities.

      Teeth are a bit like a “mineral” bank account. You get cavities when this account runs out of minerals!
      Minerals are depleted by anything that makes your mouth acidic, and they are replaced into this “account” when you create “re-mineralizing” conditions in your mouth. All day, every day, as we eat or drink, we deplete the mineral tooth account. When we use xylitol, eat cheese or use good oral care products, we put minerals back into this account.

      The outcome for teeth is the same as it would be for a bank account, only money is the measure! When you are out of minerals in your tooth account – you will have a cavity in that tooth. It’s important to put in more minerals each day than you take out! This can work the other way, so now you have a cavity – you need to deposit as many minerals as possible back into your teeth – to replace the ones missing.

      I suggest you get back to using the rinse that was previously helpful to you, add some xylitol to your day, and snack on cheese from time to time. I hope you will be able to avoid the need for fillings – and delight your dentist!

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    1. If you use the Complete Mouth Care System and adequate amounts of xylitol after eating and drinking – you will not need floss to prevent gingivitis. It’s more important to brush your gums and stimulate circulation in them, than to use floss for gum health. Imagine it’s your finger that’s infected. Does rubbing a length of string over your finger help it heal? It’s more important to ensure the finger is not infected (xylitol) and then let the natural blood supply bring cells and nutrients to fix and heal.

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