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Book Review: Kiss Your Dentist Goodbye by Ellie Phillips

Where can I get this book?

It’s available on Amazon in paperback or Kindle format
click here to buy Kiss Your Dentist Goodbye

We had huge expectations regarding this book as it was marketed as an alternative approach to dental health problems. So rather than the classic brush and floss (or drill and fill) approach, she recommends remineralization, which (if possible – when damage is still reversible) is always superior and less invasive than traditional dentistry. The main idea of the book is her System for healthy teeth, which is a form of a protocol that (if followed carefully) should give you good long-term outcomes and in some cases could actually make you Kiss your dentist goodbye (actually we don’t recommend skipping any checkups and dental imaging, especially if you had cavities before).

But there’s a problem: This book should have been a pamphlet

The main problem with this book is that it could be summarized in one word: xylitol. In fact, the paperback edition is 248 pages long and the word xylitol is used 367 times! By no means we’re saying that xylitol is not beneficial for your teeth, it’s just that it looks like the whole book is written around this one concept. By the time you get to the chapter on xylitol, it feels like she has already recommended it ten thousand times. Please note that if you get into scientific papers xylitol does not appear to be the holy grail she preaches it to be – studies show it’s beneficial, but it’s not the only way to go. Also, please note that some scientific studies present erythritol as superior to xylitol when it comes to reducing cariogenic bacteria populations.

“The system” aka. Dr. Ellie’s Complete Mouth Care System explained in detail (dr Ellie Phillips protocol)

As mentioned before, apart from xylitol the core part of her book is her system, which (if followed rigorously) will provide you with ultimate dental health. Since her mouth care system is not a secret as it’s publicly available in her book reviews, interviews, on many blogs, and on YouTube, we’ll discuss it here briefly with our comments. She recommends using it twice a day – before going to bed and in the morning, after breakfast. It consists of using 3 different mouth rinses (yes, you read that one right – three mouth rinses!), brushing your teeth, eating xylitol, and keeping your toothbrush clean. It’s important to keep the order just as listed, as it’s not random – products with certain pH levels are to be used before and after brushing, and changing the order would ruin the whole procedure.

  1. First mouth rinse to be used before brushing is CloSYS, chlorine dioxide rinse that’s aimed at neutralizing the pH level
    Our comment: it generally is a sound idea to neutralize your pH level before brushing as enamel weakened by acids can be damaged by abrasive toothpaste and toothbrush bristles, but we believe readers should be informed that’s it is better not to drink or eat anything acidic half an hour prior to brushing as pH neutralizing mouth rinse won’t harden your enamel in a matter of seconds. So while the mouthwash won’t do any harm, the information that once you use it your enamel is ready for brushing may be misleading.
  2. The second step is to brush your teeth with a small amount of Crest toothpaste using a small head (less than 1 inch) toothbrush, focusing on where the gums meet the teeth area with circular motions
    Our comment: we felt a bit disappointed she’s not a fan of flossing (it’s not in the protocol at all), we are also all for sonic or ultrasonic toothbrushes and feel that saying they are not more effective than manual ones is simply not true {citation will be included here}, but this may have something to do with the fact that she is selling the latter ones on her website.
  3. The third step is to rinse with Listerine Regular, an antiseptic rinse which she calls “a liquid floss”
    Our comment: okay, so here’s our flossing that we missed so badly! We are REALLY disappointed about this one – the whole idea of her system is to rebuild your mouth bacteria to keep the good ones and get rid of Streptococcus Mutans, but classic Listerine kills ALL the bacteria – good bacteria too! {citations to be filled}. Also, mouthwash is not a floss – it will not reach all the places within your mouth to remove debris, and there have been multiple studies clearly showing that flossing cannot be replaced by a mouthwash. And the worst things you can have are starches or carbs between teeth all night long. We are also not happy she is recommending Listerine with alcohol, especially when there are scientific papers concluding it’s linked with oral cancer increased risk {citations will be included here}.
  4. Then you should rinse with fluoride ACT Anticavity rinse
    Our comment: fluoride opponents won’t be happy here. We’re not all that against fluoride, but if you’re a conspiracy theorist regarding this matter we have your back – you can have healthy teeth without fluoride. The good thing is this mouthwash is alkaline so the idea to use it just before bed when your saliva levels drop is sound.
  5. Finally, you should clean your toothbrush using Listerine and place it away from other toothbrushes, in a standing upward position, and store it in a protective box to let it dry before the next use
    Our comment: this is good advice, you should follow it.

To sum up – as you can see above her system is not really an alternative approach to dental health. It differs a bit from the classic approach (that is: floss, brush and use optional mouth rinse) but if it was not for the xylitol we would still call it mainstream dentistry, just with more pH level awareness. It may be that the book was published in 2010 and it simply grew old, but we feel that books like that should focus a lot more on probiotics, The book addresses problems like reflux or acidity but does nothing to solve these serious dental health hazards.

Make no mistake, we at DentalFreak are obsessed with teeth and always get super excited to read books like this one. Yet, the reading process was tedious as we felt there are too many fillers – background stories, repetitions, and information with no real value that we felt was included only to make the book longer. Also, she’s a DDS, but quite often she uses very unscientific language to describe outcomes like this one: “Shiny teeth become shinier, healthy gooms look better, and teeth feel cleaner“. This is a pop-science book, not a scientific paper, but still, we feel like these types of statements should be skipped. If you are interested in improving your dental health you won’t find in the book much more useful information than we mentioned above. But if you value every tiniest bit of dental knowledge get a copy and read it, there are interesting bits, you just need to get through the boring descriptive and repetitive parts. If reading this book was rather a pain than fun and its main tips are summarized on the author’s page as well as book reviews online.

What’s good:

  • her observations and recommendations are mostly sound and if followed carefully should give good outcomes (at least that’s what most of the customer’s reviews of her book say)
  • it’s good to see she focuses a lot on acidity and pH levels
  • there are many small hints that those not familiar with dental health may find useful
  • using xylitol is good advice (but hey, you still need to floss!)

What’s bad:

  • her style of writing is irritating, the book is really repetitive and should have been way shorter
  • there are anecdotal evidence cases (ie. young man hitting a rail with his teeth) presented which is not scientific at all and should not be included in such books
  • despite its length, this book does not cover many important dental health topics
  • she is directly advertising her own xylitol products (brand name Zellies appears 11 times in the book)
  • there’s more and more evidence that mouthwashes are not the optimal way for a healthy oral microbiome, yet her system consists of three (!) mouthwashes

The bottom line:

Overall we give this book 2 stars out of 5. Go read it if you like to learn as much as possible about dental health. If you’re on a budget or just want to improve your health without spending extra time go ahead and try her system since it’s not a secret and let us know if it worked for you!

Where can I get this book?

It’s available on Amazon in paperback or Kindle format
click here to buy Kiss Your Dentist Goodbye

Disclaimer: 1. This is a late review as this book was published in 2010 and we are reviewing it in 2019. Ellie Phillips, the author has recently published a new book titled Mouth care comes clean (released in 2018) and it will be reviewed separately. Supposedly the new book is more up-to-date but since Kiss Your Dentist Goodbye is still available we felt like we will review it anyway.
2. As Amazon Associates, we earn from purchases made using our affiliate links.
This book review is complete and was published on September 2, 2019, and last updated on December 23, 2023.


  • June Fynn

    I read a review of this book in a local newspaper while on holiday in 2013, I had recently lost a molar so was interested in the concept. As I live in New Zealand most of the products recommended were not available do I looked at ingredients & found alternatives.
    I used the system for a few years then got lazy. Still used xylitol gum & xylitol toothpaste.
    Since then I have not been offered an appointment with a dental hygienist & have had no new cavities.
    I have lots of fillings from my younger years, including in my front lower teeth so these sometimes need replacing. As a teenager I was seen by a dentist that drilled anything that looked like a cavity.
    About a year ago I appeared to have developed a fine crack in a upper molar (probably due to clenching my teeth during sleep) & last week I developed pain in that tooth, the nerve may be affected so probably removal may be in order. It has prompted me to use Dr Ellie’s system once more. I am grateful for the information in the book as we are misled by the toothpaste industry I believe.


      Thank you for your comment June!
      We are also against the drill and fill paradigm in the modern world and are working hard to educate people and change that! Getting new fillings every 6 or 12 months is not normal and can be avoided altogether by proper oral hygiene. We’ll be reviewing another good book similar to Kiss your dentist goodbye soon so please follow our blog – it’s titled Balance: A Guide to Managing Dental Caries for Patients and Practitioners and also contains some valuable information! It’s only available in printed format and also is shorter and a bit more technical.
      If you are clenching your teeth during sleep please consider Invisalign type protective covers for the night. These are custom made by your dentist out of thin transparent plastic and are relatively cheap (they last from few months to few years depending on how hard you clench your teeth). Great way to protect your teeth during the night! Also, make sure you’re not chewing gum too much as this can make your jaw muscles too powerful. If you have any further questions or comments just let us know! We wish you great oral health!

    • Anonymous

      I started using her products last week because I saw the starting of gum recession on a few of my teeth. I have never had mouth bleeding and now I do so I stopped using the products. I am not sure if it’s a combo of the products and using my Oral-B electric toothbrush instead of manual. I may stick with the xylitol for now to see if this changes.


      Which exactly products did you start using? Gum recession is caused by many factors and we believe no dental products are going to fix it, but it’s possible to slow it down or even stop it from progressing.

  • Margaret

    This is a test to see if you are posting negative comments. This is a poorly written review. I will post in depth if this appears.

  • Anonymous

    Hello! Thank you for this review, I’ve been interested in seeing what someone had to say about this system as I’ve been a bit skeptical of it (mainly about the use of Listerine and not flossing). Just wanted to point out that there were I believe three spots in the article where citations are still missing. 🙂

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