We are continuing our celebration of National Dental Health Month and today we’re going to discuss fluoride. Now while talking about taking care of your teeth is probably as enjoyable as an actual visit to your dentist, it’s such an important topic. People do not realize how vital oral health is to your overall health.
So what exactly is fluoride? Fluoride is an inorganic chemical compound used in most toothpastes and drinking water. In the 1940’s, the American Dental Association (ADA) decided that fluoride was helpful in preventing tooth decay. While this has been widely debated, even if it were true there is still the problem that too much fluoride is in fact dangerous and toxic.
On even the trusted websites that tout the benefits of fluoride, they will admit that large amounts of fluoride can affect your health, and even be deadly.
In high doses, fluoride can:
- Cause osteosarcoma, a rare bone cancer in children and teens
- Irritate the stomach, possibly leading to an ulcer
- Cause brain damage (studies actually show a reduction in IQ among children)
- Interfere with bone formation, possibly leading to arthritis
- Cause kidney injury
- Create skin irritations and rashes
- Affect thyroid function
- Increase the rate of infertility
- Develop a condition called dental fluorosis where the enamel on your teeth changes color
Now I will play devil’s advocate for a moment – let’s say fluoride is effective in preventing cavities and tooth decay. Well then what’s the big deal about it being added to our water supply?
Well, a few things. First the U.S… is the only developed country that does this. In Europe, 97% of the people drink non-fluorinated water. And guess what?
Graphs of tooth decay trends for 12 year olds in 24 countries, prepared using the most recent World Health Organization data, show that the decline in dental decay in recent decades has been comparable in 16 nonfluoridated countries and 8 fluoridated countries…The WHO data do not support fluoridation as being a reason for the decline in dental decay in 12 year olds that has been occurring in recent decades.
Then there is also the issue of how much fluoride a person is getting. If someone drinks lots of tap water, they’re getting way more fluoride than someone who doesn’t. And a man who is 6’2″ and over 200 pounds can possibly be ingesting the same amount of fluoride as a 3 year old.
That’s interesting, because I don’t think any medical professional would recommend for those two people to take the same dosage of any other “beneficial” supplement. So why this one?
Also, most toothpaste you purchase already contains fluoride. When the water you cook with, brush your teeth with, and drink contains fluoride and so does the toothpaste you’re using at least twice per day, you run the risk of consuming too much of this chemical.
So even if you believe that fluoride is good for your teeth (and there are many who do not), you need to at least understand that too much fluoride is extremely dangerous. And when it’s added to your drinking water and toothpaste, you have absolutely no control over how much fluoride you’re actually getting.
So if you’re eating a well-balanced diet rich in calcium and vitamin D and taking proper care of your teeth, one would have to ask why do I need fluoride? It’s simple, you don’t.
How do you feel about fluoride? Want more information? Internet resources where you can learn more:
- Like the Fluoride Action Network (FAN) on Facebook, follow on Twitter, and sign up for campaign alerts.
- 10 Facts About Fluoride: Attorney Michael Connett summarizes 10 basic facts about fluoride that should be considered in any discussion about whether to fluoridate water. Also see 10 Facts Handout (PDF).
- 50 Reasons to Oppose Fluoridation: Learn why fluoridation is a bad medical practice that is unnecessary and ineffective. Download PDF.
- Health Effects Database: FAN’s database sets forth the scientific basis for concerns regarding the safety and effectiveness of ingesting fluorides. They also have a Study Tracker with the most up-to-date and comprehensive source for studies on fluoride’s effects on human health.
And if you want to find out about more toxic ingredients that could be harming your child’s health, check out my webinar “The Food Connection to Your Child’s Behavior: Food Triggers to Allergies, Asthma, ADHD and Autism”.
Curious about what my kids and family use for toothpaste? The On Guard Natural Toothpaste from doTERRA.
Disclosure: this post contains affiliate links.