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In an earlier post we talked about oral health, but we thought fluoride deserved its own post. Many health advocates advise against fluoride in toothpaste, but why? Is fluoride really that harmful? What are the effects of using a fluoride containing toothpaste long term?
From what I can ascertain by searching through research papers and the opinions of both conventional and holistic dentists is a big mixed bag conflicting evidence and opinions. There is research to support both sides of the argument. Many conventional dentists state that the benefits of using flouride far outweigh any risks that may be associated. In contrast holistic dentists and practioners, advise against it. So what are we supposed to do? Here are some facts, which I have found, and my personal view. It is up to the individual to decide for themselves. I always encourage others to make their decision based on evidence and their own intuition, rather than someone else’s opinion.
What we know about fluoride?
Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral, which is toxic in high doses in humans. It has been shown to improve the strength and enamel of teeth, which is why it is promoted for dental health. In Australia, as long with Europe and USA, fluoride is added to the drinking water in an effort to reduce dental carries in the population. Due to fluoride being added to drinking water, along with many other exposures during a lifetime, it is safe to assume that we are being exposed to a level of fluoride that is surely exceeding that of a safe level. So what are the effects of excess fluoride? Aside from it being toxic in high doses, which can ultimately result in death, fluoride accumulation in the body can have effects on the endocrine system, induce lipid peroxidation as well as oxidative stress and cell apoptosis.(1)(2) In a nutshell, it can cause damage to you cells, organs and interfere with your hormones. Anything that is interacting with your bodies normal functioning, cannot be good for long-term health, and can be a contributor to the development of chronic and autoimmune diseases. Now, I’m not saying that fluoride is the cause; rather it may be a contributor, and in a world where we are so frequently exposed to toxins, I believe it is safest to reduce exposure where we can.
So, why is it important to choose fluoride free toothpaste?
The choice is yours, really. Due to our massive over exposure to fluoride, anything that you can do to reduce exposure may be beneficial for reducing the risk of chronic disease and toxicity. But you don’t swallow toothpaste, I hear you say? No, hopefully not, but you do absorb a small amount sublingually (through the gums). Over a lifetime, this small amount absorbed through your toothpaste is significantly adding to your toxic load.
My opinion is that you will never really know if using a fluoride containing toothpaste is detrimental to your health or not, but I have always found sticking as close to nature as possible, to be the best remedy for long term health. Personally, I believe that by eating a clean diet, looking after you digestive health and practicing regular oral hygiene by brushing, flossing and oil pulling, you should be able to maintain good oral health. In fact, I have seen first hand the positive affect on oral health that dietary changes can make. I don’t think fluoride is necessary for oral health. No matter how many fads comes and go about the latest health trends of toxic chemicals, there is one thing that remains constant and true, and that is, where possible, choose natural. Eat natural foods, and use natural products, and you will significantly reduce your toxic exposure, and reduce the risk chronic disease and cancers. At Sassy Organics, we only stock fluoride free toothpaste and fluoride free mouth wash. Check our full selection of natural and fluoride free dental products.
For you interest, I have attached a list of references on the matter. I encourage you to do your own research and come to your own conclusions, as there is not one consensus that has been proven to be 100% true.