Your mission, if you choose to accept, is to examine and potentially replace your toothpaste.
I come from the town that actually has the distinction of being the first in America to add fluoride to the city water supply.
And I’m about to tell you I think that’s a dangerous and irresponsible practice.
This post is sponsored by Redmond Trading, Inc. and Earthpaste.
Why Fluoride is Bad for You
Fluoride has been added to city water supplies and supplemented in dentist’s chairs and special water for infants for decades.
I find it fascinating and terrifying that this study dated 2007 begins:
Really? And we’ve been having adults drink the stuff, not just apply it on their teeth, for decades?
That right there makes me nervous. Why are municipalities administering a chemical (a drug?) to everyone in the city, without knowing the dosage, and without any research to back it up?
On the other hand, that study and this one from 2011 both found that fluoride prevents dental caries (cavities) in adults, and they reference multiple studies that already proved its effectiveness for kids.
- Many European and Asian countries have banned – not just stopped using, but banned – the use of fluoride in water in their countries.
- Silicofluorides, the kind used in most municipal water fluoridation, are industrial byproducts. Waste products. Great. Worse yet, this kind of fluoride has not been rigorously tested for safety. (source)
- Too much fluoride can cause dental fluorosis – check out Kelly’s regrets and her son’s teeth.
- There’s much more to be said on fluoride, but I think these two bloggers did a fantastic job of collecting research:
- Fluoride and Health at BodyEarth
- Fluoride Research and Why we Don’t use It at Health, Home, & Happiness
Remember that Dr. Weston A. Price, a dentist, recorded plenty of evidence of great teeth in many places around the world – without fluoride! I think the medication-minded culture would lead us to believe that before fluoride, everyone’s teeth rotted out of their heads. Not true.
Dr. Price deduced that one’s diet has an amazing impact on one’s teeth and oral health. Perhaps, rather than ingesting fluoride willy nilly, we as a culture need to consider what else we are ingesting.
The bottom line for me lies in two problems:
- When water fluoridation started, the research on its effectiveness was sparse at best.
- There’s no way to control the dose (or refuse it) once it’s in the water. Children and athletes, for example, imbibe much more fluoride than your average sedentary adult. That makes zero sense to me.
The EPA is coming around to agreeing – they said in February, 2011:
I grew up on well water and had very few (maybe two?) cavities my whole life.
“You’re lucky,” the hygienist in the big city said seriously, waggling her eyebrows ominously.
I always had those fluoride treatments, and if I believed fluoride was important for dental health, that’s the route I’d want to use – topical, controlled – not in the water supply all day every day.
In our house, the fluoride gets filtered out by our big Berkey water filter.
And it’s not in our toothpaste.
UPDATE: This morning when I posted this mission, I forgot about a note I had in my files from a reader/blogger colleague on fluoride. You can see Kathryn’s story of fluoride sensitivity HERE, and she’s done a lot of research which she shares in the comment. Here are some links for further reading:
- Index of Fluorinated Pharmaceuticals
- FluorideAlert.org – healthy thyroid
- Fluoride Toxicity
- Thyroid Info – Fluoride
Other Issues in Toothpaste
Isn’t it ironic that it’s the fluoride in toothpaste that makes it so we shouldn’t swallow it, but yet it’s in our water???
Here are some other things you don’t want to swallow (or put into our water supply):
- Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS)
- Foaming agents
- Glycerin (not food!)
- Artificial sweeteners
- Artificial colors
Earthpaste is a truly natural toothpaste that even looks like dirt.
It’s made mostly of Real Salt and Redmond Clay, a product you heard about here last week when we talked about warts home remedies.
Earthpaste makes my family happy because it’s even safe to swallow.
Earthpaste even might remineralize teeth, according to one reviewer.
I’ll fully review Earthpaste and some other natural and “natural” toothpastes we’ve ended up with in our house, but I’d like to thank Earthpaste and their parent company, Redmond Trading, for sponsoring this post today to inspire all of you to examine your toothpaste, whether you decide to try Earthpaste or not.
UPDATE: Here’s the natural toothpaste review for you!
Need More Baby Steps?
Here at Kitchen Stewardship, we’ve always been all about the baby steps. But if you’re just starting your real food and natural living journey, sifting through all that we’ve shared here over the years can be totally overwhelming.
That’s why we took the best 10 rookie “Monday Missions” that used to post once a week and got them all spruced up to send to your inbox – once a week on Mondays, so you can learn to be a kitchen steward one baby step at a time, in a doable sequence.
Sign up to get weekly challenges and teaching on key topics like meal planning, homemade foods that save the budget (and don’t take too much time), what to cut out of your pantry, and more.
32 thoughts on “Monday Mission: Get Safer Toothpaste”
I use and love Earthpaste for my family. I just noticed- now they have a silver Earthpaste, which includes nano silver. I think you have looked into that for sunscreen- are the concerns similar with toothpaste?
Also I just wanted to share that for myself I just use coconut oil. I have for several years now and my teeth have been fine. My dentist even asked if I was using a whitener! Until then I hadn’t noticed, but yes, my teeth are much whiter than they used to be.
I don’t believe Katie has ever looked into sunscreens with silver in them, but the nanosilver in Earthpaste is the same as colloidal silver which she uses. I’ve found varying opinions on whether or not it’s safe to take it every day, but brushing your teeth with it and spitting most of it out would be different from ingesting it as a supplement. Something to look into before making a decision. Hope that helps!
I was just looking through your post about what products you use and clicked here to read your Earthpaste review. I was wondering if you have your toddlers/little kids use Earthpaste?? I was just reading about the lead content in Earthpaste and decided I’d better not let my 2 year old use it, as she can’t NOT swallow whatever’s in her mouth! I was curious about your thoughts on the lead content!
That sticker is a bit scary, I know – I really like Redmond’s response here: http://www.redmondclay.com/2013/why-is-there-a-warning-sticker-on-redmond-clay/
I totally let me kids all use it AND swallow it, purposely. I feel that bentonite clay is safe for consumption. Hopefully…I’m not wrong!
After last week’s dental summit, I am slowly trying to change our dental routine. Just ordered some Earthpaste and Green Pastures FCLO with high-vitamin butter oil. Is there a mouth wash you recommend? I’ll have to link into probiotics and oil-pulling. Thank you for all this wonderful info.
So sorry your comment got buried! I don’t use a mouthwash per se, but I’m thinking oil pulling would probably take the place; also, Orawellness says they EO blend can be used like a mouthwash: https://cs151.infusionsoft.com/go/Ora/kitchenstew/
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I have read that salt (used for brushing teeth) should be avoided by individuals with dental fillings. Maybe this refers only to metal fillings, though. Just FYI, hydrogen peroxide is also a “no-no” for individuals with dental fillings, see link below under the links to problems with salt & fillings.
“Salt is corrosive—don’t use it for brushing metal teeth [i.e. teeth with metal fillings, crowns etc.]”. German toxicity expert Prof. Max Daunderer adds that amalgam from dental fillings is corroded by fluorine (including from fluoridated salt and toothpaste) and by iodised salt, but does not refer to unadulterated salt as an amalgam corrosive agent. Also people with exposed tooth necks (sensitive teeth) may possibly find they react with pain to salt application.7
Additionally, German toxicity expert Prof. Max Daunderer writes that amalgam from dental fillings is corroded by fluorine (including from fluoridated toothpaste and salt).
Because all salts are corrosive, this method should not be used by people with metal fillings, crowns or braces.
Also avoid hydrogen peroxide if you have fillings:
The only potential problem with hydrogen peroxide is if you have amalgam fillings: peroxide may leach mercury from your fillings.
Dr. Hulda Clark, however, one shouldn’t use hydrogen peroxide if one has metal fillings, because they react.
Thank you, Andrea, for sharing this information regarding H2O2 and metal fillings. I still have a couple of metal fillings that have not been replaced. I was able to do some research based on what you wrote. Very helpful.
I grew up in Muskegon….and I thought that town was the first place to have fluoridated water. Anyway….between that an a bad dentist….I now have 5 crowns. But….I have super white teeth with out doing anything special. I remember getting fluoride treatments as a kid as well as having the treated water. Good grief. I have a hunch that it my be part of some other health issues I have since dealt with. Thanks for an interesting article.
I’ve been using straight baking soda for the past year or so, because I didn’t want to put a bunch of nasty ingredients in my body , and my teeth feel great. I’ve read about Earthpaste, and am waiting for my first tube to arrive any day now – can’t wait to try that!
Straight baking soda on a wet toothbrush (Sonicare). That’s all we use. (Unfortunately, flossing is not as regular as it should be.)
Due to moves and other circumstances, we had to miss a few rounds of dental cleaning appointments. After about 2 years of not visiting a dentist, we all got clean bills of health and kudos from the hygenist for limited plaque build up.
We use Tate’s The Natural Miracle Toothpaste and really enjoy it. Its ingredients are mountain spring water, calcium carbonate, peppermint, spearmint, sage, ratany root, geranium, clove stem, birch tree extract, eucalyptus leaf oil, and papaya extract. It doesn’t feel abrasive and leaves our teeth feeling clean after brushing.
My son doesn’t like a strong mint taste in his toothpaste, but he loves this. The kids actually ask to brush their teeth.
My mom grew up where there was no fluoride available (let alone buildings with indoor plumbing…) and has never had cavities, gum issues, tooth discoloration, etc. I think about that when people tell me they have bad teeth because they grew up without fluoride…
My front teeth are much worse than Kelly’s son’s. The entire bottom third is affected. I grew up on well water, too, so our dentist insisted on fluoride, said the white was from my mother’s body temperature being too high while pregnant!! My parents both still have almost all their nice teeth, in their 80’s. My siblings and I have terrible teeth, lots of expensive work and many losses. My kids have gone twenty years without a cavity. The main difference is that my generation had flouride thrown at us from every direction. I now use a homemade remineralizing powder to try to salvage what I can.
I ordered Earthpaste a few weeks ago and LOVE it!! I’ve used the peppermint and wintergreen and even my children (ages 8 down to 19 months) all like the wintergreen. I have used Tropical Traditions tooth cleaner but after using it twice a day for a while, I started developing discolored spots on my teeth; I’m not sure why. My husband suggested I switch toothpastes so I used Dr. Ken’s toothpaste at night & TT in the morning and the spots cleared up. I will continue to use Earthpaste.
The kid just brush with water…they don’t like the mint flavor of my natural toothpaste. My husband just uses water too. We’ve started oil pulling and may end up giving up brushing for good! Since tooth health is diet related anyhow…we take our CLO and eat healthy real foods.
We use Tom’s of Maine toothpaste WITH fluoride. Thankfully our city of Olympia, WA does not fluoridate the water; on top of which we use a water filter. I think drinking fluoride all day long is harmful and excessive- but I do appreciate it in a toothpaste that I can scrub on and then spit/ rinse out. My family is cavity free!
I forgot to mention that Tom’s of Maine is a line of “all natural” products. So none of that yucky artificial stuff 🙂
I agree, something I can rinse off and be in control of is the only way I want my fluoride…although Tom’s of Maine still does have SLS…
Awesome! I just ordered some! Can’t wait to try it!
I hope this helps someone. The dentist always looked down his nose when I refused fluoride, but had kids with cavities. We brushed and flossed religiously, and my kids still had cavities. UNTIL!! I thought about cavities for awhile, and the fact that bacteria is a cause. I immediately started my kids on a really good probiotic. They have never had a cavity since, and that’s the only thing we changed.
I do oil pulling every morning as soon as I get up to reduce bacteria that is naturally in our mouths and most heavily in the a.m.
I have been using and recommending ToothSoap for over 6 years. Because ToothSoap has no abrasives in it, once or twice a week, I use Tooth Brightener to whiten my teeth (also by ToothSoap). I also use OraMD – a couple drops on my tongue and a little water to swish around in my mouth after brushing to keep my mouth fresh and prevent stains from forming on my teeth.
This routine keeps my teeth feeling like they were just cleaned by a dentist, but without the gritty residue from a dental cleaning.
I’m loading the fluoridosis article as I type this, but I’ll claim my own issues: I switched to a fluoride-free toothpaste a couple of years ago and happily brushed w/ it for a year (or so). I noticed that I was having some significant tooth sensitivity, especially in my molars, to the extent that I didn’t enjoy rinsing my mouth out. I mentioned all the above to my hygienist and she thought it was the lack of fluoride in my toothpaste. I decided to give it a shot again and..low and behold, all my tooth sensitivity is gone.
I don’t love the idea of fluoride (and a Berkey is one my wish list) but I’m also like having pain-free teeth. If anyone has any suggestions, I’d be open to them!
I’ve had some sensitive teeth in the last few years, and last fall I did oil pulling, and it really helped!
I remember reading about your oil pulling and had thought the jury was out. Glad to hear it helped! Do you still do it?
I haven’t for almost a year, but I need to! I just keep forgetting until i’ve already started breakfast in the morning…Must. Keep. Trying. 😉 Katie
What is your diet like? That can also be a factor.
It’s not all fermented and whatnot, but it’s certainly a “real food” diet. I make almost everything from scratch and gen’lly make sourdough bread if we eat it at all. I’m more plant-based than the Weston A. Price would prefer (we’re flexitarians but mostly eat vegetarian). Is there something specific you were thinking about as opposed to me babbling? 🙂
When you’re having symptoms like you do, your body chemistry is out of balance. I would look at
-are you getting enough healthy protein?
-are you eating enough healthy fats?
-are you eating too many grains? I don’t recommend grains at all, especially not gluten.
-are you getting the nutrients you need in the proper balance? There’s always a risk with a vegetarian diet that this may be an issue.
-do you have any food sensitivities?
There are a lot of things to look, but it all centers around whether your body chemistry is out of balance and if you’re getting the proper balance of nutrients.
I haven’t tried Earthpaste…but do wonder about the abrasiveness of the salt after repeated use. I make my own toothpaste with baking soda, coconut oil and peppermint essential oil, but with my last batch I omitted the baking soda for the same reasons. I already have weak teeth so I want to do everything I can to help them stay as strong as possible. The combination of oils makes a surprisingly nice brushing experience and leaves my teeth and gums feeling healthy and clean
Thank you for this! This is something we are trying to make the switch over on. I love to hear recommendations!
I have a son with severe dental fluorosis as well. He is 30 and has lost 11 teeth to root canals. We drank fluoridated water, had the fluoride applied at the dentist, PLUS took a daily pill the dentist said would strengthen his porous enamel. Can’t believe what a sheep I was.
We have tried a number of natural and homemade toothpastes, and they work very well for most of the family. I haven’t found one yet that doesn’t aggravate my receding gums, though, so I mostly chew mint or parsley leaves and brush with plain coconut oil. If I can get my store to carry it, I might have to give Earthpaste a try.