I'm still on my quest for knowledge regarding dental care. In the past couple of months, I've read a few books, done loads of reading online, talked with a hygienist, invested in a Water Pik (oral irrigator) and consulted with my dentist (we actually talked on the phone for 15 minutes this afternoon -- I love getting to ask lots of questions!).
This evening I spent a couple of hours reading through the archives of this blog from a dentist, Dr. Ellie Phillips. (I volunteered her ad on my sidebar right now -- take a look!)
Dr. Ellie has spent lots of time answering questions and sharing her thoughts from her 35+ years as a dentist. What she says intrigues me: I see a lot of common sense, and a more natural preventive approach. Reading through page after page of her advice has helped me get the bigger picture of what good oral hygiene might look like.
Dr. Ellie's recommendations for good oral health include xylitol. While she does sell xylitol mints and gum, any good-quality 100% xylitol will achieve the same results. And the rest of her recommendations can be bought at your local store. (For the curious: We ordered some granulated xylitol through a co-op; it can also be found at bulk food stores, health food stores, or online.)
Dr. Ellie is down-to-earth, encouraging, sometimes-skeptical of big-businesses' motivations, and generous -- read her blog and you'll see what I mean.
And yes... Zellies mints and gum are fabulous. I won't lie -- they aren't exactly "cheap". But they are good quality and taste wonderful. We've tried the mint and the fruit flavors, and they are seriously the best mints we've ever had. Ever!
Unlike normal breath mints (which usually either contain sugar or an unhealthy artificial sweetener), the 100% xylitol mints leave my teeth feeling clean and fresh. It is amazing; I was NOT expecting to like the mints so well. (We were researching them for their tooth benefits, not taste!) :)
I'm trying out Dr. Ellie's recommended "system" for daily teeth maintenance: Rinse with Closys, brush, rinse with Listerine, rinse with Act. (I am also using the Water Pik at the beginning to clean out the deep cavity I still have.) I'll update in a few months with my thoughts.
Anyway. I'm not trying to sell you on anything here... but if you are interested in learning more about dental health, Dr. Ellie's blog is a great resource! And you can ask her your own questions, as well. :)