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:
To date, no systematic reviews have found fluoride to be effective in preventing dental caries in adults.
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:
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:
In a surprising reversal, last month EPA’s announced that it intends to lower the maximum amount of fluoride in drinking water because of growing evidence supporting the chemical’s possible deleterious effects to children’s health.
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.
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.