Poison or Prophylactic?

After having a face off with my boss on the subject of fluoride in toothpaste I decided to sound off and my very own blog is the perfect place, my podium if you will. Today it becomes for this entry my anti-fluoride podium.

So here is the recreated scene as seen through my eyes. A youngish female patient (probably 12) was in my room for her 6 month check up and having taken x-rays and cleaned her teeth things looked pretty healthy IMO. The doctor sauntered in (as she always saunters) and did her perfunctory 1 minute exam and gave the all clear, her teeth were perfect.

What the doctor didn’t know was the patient had confided in me that she didn’t like toothpaste, so brushed her teeth without toothpaste, something both my husband and I do, so I saw nothing wrong with her practice. I proceeded to tell her that as long as she brushed her teeth 2 minutes twice a day toothpaste was an unnecessary component in her daily care. That is absolutely true, you do not need toothpaste it is the removal of bacteria that really cleans your teeth not some slimy, minty paste.

“Mom” doesn’t like it that said patient doesn’t use toothpaste (frankly I say pick better things to argue about or you will face a mountain of resistance down the road) and after the doctor left my room having given the thumbs up “Mom” caught “Doctor” in the hallway and reported that said patient was not using toothpaste. OMG! Crime of the century, or so you would think.

In a very sincere and condescending voice “Doctor” proceeded to tell the young female patient that she must use toothpaste and to me she repeated the statistics “she will get 30% of her fluoride in her toothpaste, so she must use toothpaste at least once a day”. Blech!! I ask you how much of this fluoride will this young patient swallow and in the end how necessary is all this fluoride to a person’s dental health?

It is a known fact that most people are being overexposed to fluoride and even the Journal of Public Health Dentistry was quoted on the Fluoride Alert site as saying “Virtually all authors have noted that some children could ingest more fluoride from toothpaste alone than is recommended as a total daily fluoride ingestion.” People are getting fluoride in their municipal drinking water, through vegetables that have been watered with chemically treated water, in toothpaste, even in their tea, you name it and it probably has fluoride in it. Worry not people if it is fluoride you want fluoride you got just try to avoid it and see how difficult it is.

There are adverse affects from fluoride ingestion that have been associated with the amount of fluoride you get just by living in  fluoridated area. These risks include brain damage with the results showing in reduced IQs. Increased risks of thyroid disease (hypothyroidism especially in those with low iodine). Diminished bone density with increased risk of fracture at levels of fluoride as low as 1.5ppm which is only slightly higher than the concentration added to water for fluoridation(0.7-1.2 ppm). Increased risks for bone cancer (osteosarcoma) in young males has been determined to be “biologically plausible” and half of adolescents who develop osteosarcoma die within a few years of diagnosis. Also people with kidney disease have a heightened susceptibility to fluoride toxicity due to impaired ability to excrete fluoride from the body. Why, oh why, do we need even more fluoride in our bodies?

To take the other side of the argument for one moment. If you believe in fluoride’s benefit, if you believe that it builds strong teeth and bones then one could argue against water fluoridation and in favor of fluoride in toothpaste and enforced use of toothpaste with fluoride. I say this because they have proven that ingestion of fluoride really doesn’t do anything for teeth it is the topical application that has proven the most effective, ergo if you must have fluoride then only have it in your body as a topical application most of which you can duly spit out.

Bear in mind as you apply a ribbon of minty wonder to your toothbrush that most fluoride comes from chemical waste, specifically industrial waste from the phosphate fertilizer industry. “The chemicals-fluorisilicic acid, sodium silicofluoride and sodium fluoride-used to fluoridate drinking water are industrial waste products from the phosphate fertilizer industry.” Admittedly, I do not know the origins of the fluoride in toothpaste I do know that the fluoride we use in fluoride treatments in the dental office is of the sodium fluoride variety. I need to do more study on the fluoride in toothpaste.

My question remains is fluoride the secret to no decay? I don’t think so. Sorry I don’t buy it and Dr. Weston A. Price proved it in the 40’s by looking at peoples who ate their indigenous diets only. They not only didn’t have decay they didn’t need orthodontists because their jaws grew to a normal size that allowed for every single one of their teeth with no mal-alignment. As soon as these people or their descendants moved in to other parts of the world and developed unhealthy diets that were not indigenous their offspring developed crowded jaws and decay.

So what causes decay? Carbohydrates, acids and sugars cause decay by feeding the bacteria that linger on tooth surfaces, your tongue, cheeks, etc. This bacteria literally poops acid onto the tooth surface. If you don’t remove the bacteria it can defecate on your teeth 24/7 and that is a lot of acid. If you add to that mix soda with its phosphoric acid and citric acid you have a virtual wasteland in your mouth, a wasteland of death and decay.

My young female patient was doing the right thing. Her brushing was impeccable, her teeth were free of plaque and calculus (which serves as a shelf to hold plaque) and she had no decay. Better than all of that she told me she doesn’t like sugary drinks and consumes water more than anything else and consumes little to no candy (here Mom has picked the right battle). I ask you why, oh why, did this young adolescent need to be forced to place poison on her teeth every day and take the chance of swallowing it in her morning or evening rush? Is the dentist simply covering herself and minimizing the risk of litigious activity down the road? I doubt it, she sincerely believes that fluoride is the savior, just like she still thinks it is okay to put amalgams in people’s mouths and to not have good air circulation in an old dental office.

Here is to coming out of the dark ages,



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