If you have spent any time considering healthy or whole living, you have probably asked, “Is Fluoride Healthy?” Fluoride toothpaste is something I have always used, believing that it was best for my sensitive teeth (in fact, my tooth sensitivity toothpaste actually contains more fluoride than the regular varieties!). Over the past four of five years, however, I have heard whisperings of “I can’t believe people still use fluoride toothpaste!” and “Did you know that fluoride can cause neurotoxicity?” Concerned about my health, but moreover seeking the truth and to live as naturally and chemical-free as possible, I decided to do some research. Here is what I found:
Immediately upon searching Google for “fluoride,” the following images cast shadows on the seemingly good-for-you toothpaste additive. Even when typing the word “fluoride,” words like dangers, conspiracy, and side effects come up as the most searched for terms and phrases. Clearly this is not a new concern! So what is fluoride, and is fluoride healthy?
Again leaning on the expertise of Google, we can see that fluoride is inorganic, or man-made. It also stood out to me that fluoride is marketed by many different brand names (you don’t see this in natural substances like apples, for example!) Finally, I noted that the pregnancy risk of fluoride is a category B! A category B and it’s in everyday (use two to three times a day) toothpaste? Not to mention if it is even in our water!!! Something we use everyday, whether pregnant or not, should pose no risk to pregnancy if you ask me!
So what is Fluoride?
What is Fluoride?
1Fluoride is a chemical compound made of fluorine and some other element, usually salt. Essentially the natural part of fluoride is the fluorine, but is it really natural?
2Though fluorine is found in dirt, it is poisonous, can “cause severe burns on contact with skin,” and is noted to be highly toxic. In addition, fluorine is naturally impossible to isolate, so in order to get it by itself, highly chemical processes have to be undergone: “through the electrolysis of potassium fluoride and hydrofluoric acid as well as through the electrolysis of molten potassium acid fluoride (KHF2).”
Is Fluoride Healthy?
As I began perusing the web, I quickly realized that the statistics and information on fluoride are in direct opposition to one another. Some websites (3, 4, 5) claim that flouride is good for you and should be used multiple times a day in your toothpaste, should be added to your water, and even taken as a pill supplement! But so many others (6, 7, 8, 9) advocate strongly against it.
Here is a summary of what I found (all sources previously cited above):
- it is a toxic industrial waste product
- it may be contaminated with aluminum, radio nucleotides, arsenic, lead, and more
- the type added to municipal water supplies is not pharmaceutical grade
- hyperthyroidism, hip fractures, lower IQ in children, bone cancer in boys, and bladder cancer have all been associated with fluoridation
- countries with naturally fluoridated water (China, India, parts of Africa) are working hard to un-fluoridate their water because of the health risks involved with ingesting too much fluoride
- it accumulates in the body, especially in bone tissues and the pineal gland
So, is fluoride healthy? After even just a few hours of reading through the evidence, from both positive and negative opinions of fluoride, it is clear that the risks of ingesting this chemical far outweigh the potential benefits of preventing tooth decay. Even just knowing that fluoridated water is used in the processing of products, the growing of crops (even crops labels “organic”) leaves us ingesting far more fluoride than we could ever measure or really know about. For this reason, I am advocating for pure filtered water and truly natural toothpaste. Any fluoride we may need to prevent tooth decay will surely be provided and absorbed through the body naturally. Though I’m not a dentist, I would say that regularly washing and flossing your teeth alone (without fluoride) is sufficient in preventing tooth decay (especially if you are avoiding sugary drinks and sticky processed foods – also give your mouth a rinse with fresh water after coffee or lemon juice!).
But is fluoride healthy? Maybe! But even if it is, there seems to be no need to brush with fluoride toothpaste daily.