Toothpaste. The dangers of added fluoride and anti-bacterial agents.

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Fluoride is supposed to strengthen teeth and anti-bacterial agents kill the unwanted bacteria in the mouth that lead to smelly breath and gum disease.  However, if all we were were a set of teeth, then this wouldn’t be so bad.  But, of course, there is much more to being human than just our teeth.  It is in our nature to seek quick and easy answers to problems.  In this case, the answers cause more problems than they cure.

The above video talks about fluoride.  In the form we use it in toothpaste or added to the water supply, it is a poison.  Although we spit toothpaste out, a small amount inevitably remains around our teeth and slowly builds up in our tissues, with, as the video says, resulting health problems.  However, all is not lost as this quote from Radical Medicine by Louisa L Williams explains.

Calcarea fluorica is the only safe source of dental fluoride, besides foods (e.g., Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, beets).  Topical stannous fluoride used in conventional dental offices can actually be lethal if swallowed in large enough amounts, and sodium fluoride that is added to water supplies has been linked in numerous scientific studies to dental fluorosis (mottling of the teeth), bone pain, back stiffness, osteoporosis, bone fractures, immune deficiency, and cancer.  Additionally, sodium fluoride can accumulate in a child’s developing brain and reduce IQ and contribute to many behavioral disorders.

So here we have an interesting fact: the type of fluoride found on the surface of our teeth – and bones – is actually calcarea fluorica, which can be bought and taken to strengthen the teeth.  Unfortunately, this is not the form of fluoride we find in our toothpastes.  In our toothpastes fluoride lurks under such names as sodium monoflourophosphate or just sodium fluoride.

Another horrid condition strongly linked to fluoride intake is an underactive thyroid as gone into by  Mercola.  Click on the link for more.

And so it seems wise to avoid toothpastes containing fluoride.  What about the toothpastes touting anti-bacterial agents?  The problem with all anti-bacterials, whether they be toothpastes or soaps or cleansing agents is they play into the assumption that all bacteria is bad and should be destroyed.  A healthy body has a balance of good and bad bacteria in the mouth, on the skin and inside us.  To bombard ourselves with anti-bacterials upsets the balance by also killing good bacteria, ultimately leaving the field clear for the bad bacteria to multiply.  For instance, Colgate Total Advanced Toothpaste boasts a 12 hour anti-bacterial action.  This is horrific – 12 hours of blasting all the bacteria in your mouth – and therefore in our guts,  since this stuff is hanging about and must be being swallowed.  Madness. Anti-bacterials may have to be used if things are badly out of control – but their use should be temporary and afterwards care should be taken to restore the balance.  This can be achieved by taking high quality pro-biotics, by eating plain, full fat live yoghurt if dairy tolerant and so on.  And by taking proper care of our teeth and gums, as gone into in the previous linked blog.

Since toothpaste is not meant to be swallowed, some common ingredients found in there are highly dubious.  For example, sodium lauryl sulphate; this is found in soaps and causes the lather.  Then there is  strontium chloride, used for reducing tooth sensitivity.  Strontium chloride is used in fireworks to make the red colour.  Or hydrogen peroxide, used for years as a bleach, often on hair.  In toothpaste, it is a tooth whitener.  We can also find sodium hydroxide, otherwise known as caustic soda or lye, used in the manufacture of paper, soaps and as a drain cleaner.  I think it is in there as a stain remover. 1 Frankly, it is all a bit worrying.  But to keep things achievable, starting by avoiding toothpastes that have added fluoride and anti-bacterial agents seems worth a go.  And after brushing the teeth, rinse, rinse, rinse – and spit it out.

  1. Sodium hydroxide is an ingredient in Colgate toothpaste Max White One Active.  I kid you not. []

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