+ Who can benefit from Zellie’s?

Zellie’s is for anyone who wants fresher breath and healthier teeth and gums and cares about what they put in their body. Because Zellie’s products are sweetened with xylitol, diabetics and those with increased chances of dental disease (e.g., seniors, cancer patients, orthodontics patients) have even more to gain.

+ Is xylitol safe for animals?

No. Xylitol is not safe for dogs. Please keep Zellie’s out of your pet’s reach.

+ Is Zellie’s chewing gum more effective than mints?

No. Both gum and mints sweetened with 100% xylitol work equally effectively. For people with dry mouth studies show xylitol mints help improve oral health and reduce root decay by 40%. People with braces or dentures may find mints are preferable and they offer everyone a great choice of flavors! Improved oral health comes from regular consumption of small amounts of xylitol, and this effect will be most pronounced when Zellie’s Mints, Gum or Polar Bears are eaten at the conclusion of every meal, snack or drink.

+ How much xylitol do you need for oral health?

Zellie’s delicious products provide specific amounts of pure xylitol. Our gum contains 1 full and measured gram of xylitol, each mint contatins 0.5 grams of xylitol and each Polar Bear contains 1.3 grams of xylitol. Studies recommend 5 exposures to xylitol each day and 6.5-10 grams daily. For people with cavities, the more frequency and dosage, the more benefits for your teeth. Studies show that at 10 grams or more per day you will reach a plateau effect, where increased amounts do not make your mouth any healthier.

Try our Zellie’s selection and find what you like best.

+ Is Zellie’s different from other brands?

Zellie’s are made with ingredients selected for purity and good health and dental benefits. We have chosen to leave out ingredients that we feel could impede the improvement of oral health. Zellie’s Products have measured (not estimated) amounts of xylitol in them. Many other xylitol products “round up” the amounts of xylitol in their gum and mints. Nutrition labels allow this – so 0.7 grams may look like 1.0 gram as you read the label. On the other hand, our Polar Bears have 1.3 grams of xylitol in each bear, but the label has been “rounded down” to show only 1.0 gram. We added the extra xylitol purposefully so that children with cavities can eat 5 bears per day and enjoy the recommended amount of 6.5 grams of xylitol daily for improved oral health.

+ What is xylitol?

Xylitol is a naturally occurring sweetener found in the fibers of many fruits and vegetables, including, but not limited to: various berries, corn husks, oats, and mushrooms. The Finnish name for it is koivusokeri, or birch sugar, and it was first produced in Scandinavia from xylan, a sugar found in the wood fibers of birch trees. Xylitol is a five-carbon sugar alcohol that occurs naturally in plants. Xylitol is also naturally found in our bodies. We produce up to 15 grams of xylitol from other food sources using established energy pathways. Xylitol is delicious and can be your own special weapon in your fight against dental disease. Best of all, it can help everyone avoid cavities and strengthen their teeth. Granular xylitol looks and tastes almost like sugar (sucrose) but with 40 percent fewer calories. As a natural sweetener, it is a great alternative to regular sugar but, unlike sugar, it is a powerful and effective tool that improves dental health. A few grams of xylitol eaten after meals and snacks will reduce the number of harmful bacteria in the mouth and also protect teeth from acidity. Xylitol creates the ideal conditions to stop and even reverse dental damage. Studies show that the greatest reduction in harmful bacteria comes from eating 100 percent xylitol.

+ How does xylitol work?

Bacteria absorb xylitol as they would sugar or starch. Unlike sugar or starch, xylitol does not provide bacteria with an energy source. In fact, xylitol starves harmful bacteria and also prevents them from processing other sugars, which stops their acid production.

Xylitol stimulates a flow of saliva from special glands around the mouth. Teeth begin to remineralize and become smoother. Bacteria are less able to stick to this shinier surface and less plaque forms on teeth. This is good news for people who have endured a lifetime of dental problems and weak and sensitive teeth. Six months of consuming xylitol regularly will clean your mouth of harmful bacteria and help strengthen teeth, reduce sensitivity and helps heal early cavities.

+ What are some of the benefits of using xylitol regularly?

  • Limits dental plaque formation
  • Helps prevent plaque from sticking to teeth
  • Decreases damage caused by mouth and plaque acids
  • Reduces the levels of harmful mouth bacteria on teeth (Streptococcus mutans)
  • Promotes healthy probiotic bacteria
  • Has been show to help reduce cavities by up to 80 percent
  • Studies show 40% less root caries for high risk patients
  • Helps promote repair and remineralization of tooth enamel
  • Helps fight chronic inflammation in gum tissues
  • Helps improve dry mouth and bad breath

+ Can xylitol cure bad breath?

An acidic mouth promotes the growth of bad bacteria, which causes bad breath. Xylitol reduces mouth acidity and helps eliminate these bacteria.

+ Does xylitol whiten teeth?

An acidic mouth promotes the growth of bad bacteria, which can lead to the softening of your teeth, allowing them to become worn down and stained. Xylitol reduces mouth acidity, eliminates harmful bacteria and helps build minerals into teeth, making them stronger and brighter.

+ Are there any known toxic effects of xylitol?

No. There are no known toxic effects of xylitol to humans. Humans can safely eat 50 to 100 grams per day, but it’s best to start raising the dose slowly to avoid a mild laxative effect.

Xylitol should not be given to pets, particularly dogs. If your pet consumes xylitol, consult a veterinarian.

+ Is xylitol a good choice for children?

Xylitol offers a natural approach to preventing cavities in children’s teeth. Xylitol can be a parent’s best friend, especially for those who have trouble controlling their children’s sugar intake. Your children will love the sweet taste of xylitol. You will love knowing that every time your children eat xylitol, they are improving their oral health.

+ What causes tooth infections in children?

Tooth decay is an infectious disease, and it is usually the mother who infects her own baby. Germs are passed between a parent’s mouth and the baby’s mouth. Germs are given to the baby in saliva by kissing, “cleaning” a pacifier, tasting food on a spoon, and so on. Regular consumption of xylitol can prevent transmission of cavity-causing bacteria from a mother to a child. Parents who consume two teaspoons of xylitol every day will gradually clean away unhealthy bacteria from their own mouths. If this program starts at least six months before the baby has a tooth, parents can avoid passing along unhealthy mouth bacteria to the baby.

+ Why does dry mouth increase risk for dental disease? How can xylitol help?

A dry mouth lacks the moisture that protects teeth and also provides a breeding ground for harmful bacteria. Keeping your mouth moist with xylitol mints or gum can protect vulnerable teeth in dry mouth conditions. Eating xylitol stimulates saliva flow and also makes the mouth acid-neutral (pH level 7.0).

+ How does xylitol improve oral health for people with dentures?

Xylitol is anti-fungal and can help control thrush, sore tongue or denture sore mouth. Debilitated and sick people often have sores at the corners of their mouth (angular cheilitis), a condition that xylitol can also help. A solution of 4 grams of granular xylitol in 16 oz. of warm water can be made and sipped throughout the day and night. This solution may alternatively be sprayed into the mouth or wiped onto teeth with a cloth or sponge.

+ How can I learn more about xylitol?

Visit Dr. Ellie Phillips’ website: www.drellie.com

+ In the ingredients it lists "gum base", what is this made of?

Our gum base is a high quality European gum base that is made of a combination of natural and man-made food-grade polymers and waxes. A polymer is a string of molecules (monomers) that usually contain carbon and hydrogen. Polymers are found naturally in the human body, animals, plants, and minerals. In order to be food-grade, the gum base complies with strict international requirements. Gum base is a completely inert, insoluble, non-nutritive substance (if you swallowed it, it would not be metabolized, it would simply pass through the digestive tract of the body). All of the other ingredients that you do consume in our gum are naturally derived.

In an ideal world, we would use a natural rubber called chicle for our gum base. We love the idea of it and we know many of our customers would too. We've actually taken steps in R&D to try and use this gum base, but came up against a few road blocks. Firstly, cost. Our gum is sweetened with 100% xylitol. This ingredient is a lot more expensive than using regular sugar or artificial sweeteners (or a mix). So just by having a commitment to oral health with using xylitol, we set our product at a higher price point than other chewing gum products. Furthermore, we use a lot of this expensive ingredient. We decided to load each piece with as much xylitol as we could, because we know that every milligram makes a difference for oral health. Many of our competitors skimp on the total amount of xylitol per piece so they can have bigger profit margins. We do not. Natural chicle is about double the cost of a mixed rubber gum base. So on top of already using an expensive ingredient (xylitol), If we switched to a natural chicle, the price of our product would become a challenge to most, especially if they are using Zellie's to improve their oral health (which means at least 6 pieces a day). Secondly, texture and taste. Natural chicle does not hold flavor very well, it often sticks to teeth and dental work and after chewing it for a short time it becomes very hard. Additionally, every batch of natural chicle can be different, so having a reliable, uniform texture would not happen. We know a big part of chewing gum is the experience of it (which comes from the texture) and we know this would be severely compromised and less uniform if we used natural chicle.

With all of the above being said, we will continue to explore if there is a way to use a natural chicle gum base, perhaps in a different product line that would have a different price point. We would guess that for the customers that have decided this is important to them, they would be willing to pay more. Additionally as consumers are demanding more natural, organic products, we hope to see more innovations in the gum base field that we can then use in our products.