I’ve always been vaguely aware of some rumblings about whether or not fluoride is actually beneficial to your health. I was reminded in a biology class in college that I should look into the issue further. As someone who has been in and out of the dentist’s office for as long as I can remember, I should have been paying more attention to my dental health. I finally did some research once I was diagnosed with perioral dermatitis and here we are. I am no longer using toothpaste that has fluoride in it (especially to avoid the SLS that was in my Crest toothpaste). I am sure it’s already in the water I drink (whether I like it or not) but other than using a filter, there is not much I can do about that right now.
Here are just a few articles on the effects of fluoride for you to read:
Some take away points:
- It is an accepted fact that the health of our mouth directly reflects what is also going on inside of our body. Everything in our bodies is connected and dental problems can often point your dentist or doctor to other issues that are going on.
- In the US, fluoride is added to 50% of our water supply even though fluoride is dangerous to swallow. Read your toothpaste label — if you consume more than a certain amount, you are directed to call Poison Control. Fluoride, when used as labeled, can only have an effect with direct contact with your teeth, not by consuming it.
- The ADA + the CDC have issued warnings against parents giving their infants and children fluorinated water.
- The EPA has classified fluoride as a “chemical having substantial evidence of developmental neurotoxicity.” The CDC has also reported that 41% of American adolescents have dental fluorosis, which indicates overexposure to fluoride.
- There have never been any randomized trials of water fluoridation, which are the standard methods for determining safety or effectiveness of any medical treatment. The FDA continues to classify it as “an unapproved new drug.”
- It’s the only drug/medicine that is purposefully added to our water supply without knowledge of dosage (how much each person might get) or informed consent (not everyone knows they’re drinking fluoride or how it’s affecting them).
So, you can probably see why I am comfortable with not using a toothpaste with fluoride in it. I visit my dentist every 6 months like clockwork, so it will be interesting to see if he has any comments on my oral health over the next few appointments.
Things to Do:
- Figure out if you care about fluoride in your toothpaste or not.
- If you do, make the switch! Blog post on how I made the switch to more natural toothpaste coming soon.
- Discuss your concerns with your dentist and see what they have to say.
- Consider filtering your drinking water (bottled water too – it often has added fluoride not listed on the label).
- Find out how to avoid excess fluoride exposure and consumption in your daily life.