Fluoride…Friend or Foe?
For years I’ve wondered if fluoride was something that was good for teeth. The dentists swear by it but why, if it’s safe, is there so much controversy about it?? It wasn’t until I really jumped into the natural world that I decided to err on the side of caution and cut fluoride out of our dental care. I switched toothpaste and I stopped allowing my kids to have fluoride at their dental cleanings.
Most dental professionals are adamant that fluoride is good for your teeth. Well, that is highly debatable and even if it was that doesn’t mean it’s good for your body! According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), approximately 70 percent of the U.S. population ingests fluoride through their community drinking water today and they want this percentage to continue to climb.
In January 2011 the EPA announced that it intends to lower the maximum amount of fluoride in drinking water because of growing evidence supporting the chemical’s possible deleterious effects to children’s health.
In 2006, the National Academy of Sciences report that found dental fluorosis – caused by too much fluoride – capable of putting children at risk of developing other dental problems including the breakdown of tooth enamel, discoloration and pitting.
January’s EPA recommendation reversal was made following a revised risk assessment study that found 2 out of 5 adolescents had tooth streaking or spottiness and some pitting as a result of excessive fluoride. In addition, other studies have found excessive ingestion of fluoride capable of increasing the risk of brittle bones leading to fractures and debilitating bone abnormalities.
There have always been fluoride critics who questioned the chemical’s safety and challenged the decision to use fluoride in municipal drinking water. According to the Los Angeles Times, back in 2005, “the heads of 11 EPA unions, including those representing the agency’s scientists, demanded that EPA reduce the permissible level of added fluoride in water to zero, citing research suggesting it can cause cancer. Other studies have pointed to neurotoxicity and hormone disruption from excessive fluoride”.
It has taken the government more than 60 years to recognize – some would argue admit – that American children have been overexposed to this toxic, potentially harmful chemical.
In response to the EPA’s sudden announcement, Jane Houlihan, senior vice-president of the Washington based non-profit Environmental Working Group, said, “this decision is another signal to the public to take care when it comes to exposures to industrial chemicals. What is considered safe today won’t necessarily be thought safe tomorrow.”
Our government has a pretty abysmal track record when it comes acknowledging the potential health risks associated with certain chemicals, particularly when its agencies have already determined these products as “safe”, encouraged, and in some cases mandated their use. So it is somewhat encouraging to see the EPA acknowledging the need to revise their position on fluoride and should be commended for it.
Nonetheless, here is yet another example of why consumers, especially parents, need to be vigilant, do their own research and understand that sometimes the “experts” and the government can be wrong.
So what are your options in cutting out fluoride and taking care of your teeth?
- Replace your toothpaste with one that doesn’t have fluoride in it.
- Decline Fluoride treatments at the dentist.
- Add Oil Pulling into your dental care regimen. (More on this later)
- Get a filter in your home that will filter out the fluoride. We highly recommend the Berkey Filter!!