Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Review It Wednesday -- with a warning about fluoride

Sometimes, while doing research, I get so bogged down with scary information that I just want to climb into bed and pull the covers up over my head. Let's face it...there's a lot of frightening things going on in this world of ours. Today, we are just going to focus on one of those scary things -- fluoride. Fluoride?! you ask. Yes, fluoride.

Fluoride is quite simply bad for us. But if you are tempted to stop reading, please don't go until you read this warning! According to Dr. William Campbell Douglass of The Douglass Report, The American Dental Association has advised parents not to give fluorinated water to their infants. Why? Oh, simply because it can cause brain damage! I was able to find 24 studies confirming this association between fluoride and brain damage and lowered IQs. The journal Environmental Health Perspectives cites a study that reveals fluoride as a dangerous, brain-destroying toxin. Wonderful. There's more. But first I just want to issue this very serious warning to all of you parents of formula-fed infants, and this is from the Center for Disease Control: Do not, under any circumstances, mix your powdered formula with fluorinated tap water! Use bottled or filtered water only. **Brita filters do not remove fluoride from the water.

Reading Dr. Douglass's discussions on fluoride makes me even happier that my husband bought me a water cooler for my office for Christmas! We have a filter for our water in the refrigerator, but when I am upstairs in my office, I often drink water directly from the bathroom sink. Not anymore!

"Without any solid proof that ingesting fluoride was beneficial for your teeth -- and with no safety tests conducted to determine its potential effects on the rest of your body -- the government moved forward with the mass medication of the country's water supply." -- Dr. William Campbell Douglass

Did you know that not so many years ago, fluoride was actually known as a toxic waste in the United States? It was only approved to be used as an insecticide and as rat poison. And then things changed and the government started adding it to our drinking water. Lovely.

Here are the health issues that have been linked to toxic poisoning from fluoride (according to Dr. Douglass and ActionPA.org):
  • ADD/ADHD
  • Alzheimer's Disease
  • Birth Defects
  • Bone Cancer (and other rare forms of cancer)
  • Brain Damage
  • Dental Fluorosis
  • Early Onset of Puberty
  • Genetic Damage
  • Immune System Alteration
  • Kidney Damage
  • Liver Damage
  • Musculoskeletal Problems
  • Skeletal Fluorosis
  • Thyroid Disfunction
Alrighty then.... So, what are the chances any of these things will happen to your family? Hopefully slim. I do not have actual statistics. What I have is a list of possibilities that I simply do not want to chance. And I have a stack of papers on my desk citing countless studies, including one done by researchers at Harvard School of Dental Medicine that linked fluoridation with an increased risk of fatal bone cancer in young men. In 2006, the National Academy of Sciences agreed with these findings.

Environmental Groups and Environmental Protection Agency professionals unions have voiced a united opposition to fluoridation and have called for a national moratorium on drinking water fluoridation programs.

Perhaps the most common side-effect children experience from too much fluoride is dental fluorosis, a condition where the teeth become pitted and the tooth enamel is mottled with white, yellow or brown marks. The results can be unsightly and require expensive cosmetic dental work.

But will your kids have less cavities? Perhaps. But perhaps not. The jury's still out on that. While many dentists are blaming an increase in cavities on kids drinking bottled water, there are just as many dental professionals who say there is no proof that fluoride does anything for the teeth...especially ingesting it!

So what does all this have to do with Review It Wednesday? Well, it has to do with toothpaste and whether or not you should skip the fluoride. I, personally, have chosen to go with natual toothpastes that are free of any chemically engineered synthetic flavors or dyes. And they are free of fluoride! Not only are they better for me, for you and for our families, but they're better for the environment as well.

The kind folks at Leaf & Bud Naturals in Canada kindly sent me a couple of tubes of Green Beaver toothpaste to try. I started off using the Cilantro Mint Paste. After a couple of weeks, I contacted Al at Leaf & Bud and mentioned to him that I liked it, but wasn't happy with the bad breath I was experiencing in the middle of the night. Quite honestly, he was surprised by this, since cilantro is a natural breath freshener. He suggested I switch to the Green Apple Paste, which I did. And guess what? It worked.

Both toothpastes left my teeth feeling incredibly clean -- there really is a difference when you're not coating your teeth with chemicals -- and I liked the flavors, although I must admit, the thought of green apple toothpaste did not appeal to me. But I am officially a convert. I was using one of the natural toothpastes from Tom's of Maine and did not like the color or taste. In the past, when I was done brushing my teeth with Colgate or Crest or whatever name brand I had in the house at the time, I had to rinse out my mouth really well, which was introducing even more fluoride into my mouth! With the two Green Beaver pastes I've tried, I have found I don't need to rinse my mouth at all.

And here's a silly little reason why I really like them, too. Have you ever brushed your teeth in the morning and then downed a glass of orange juice for breakfast? Yuck! The combination of chemically-flavored mint with the tangy taste of citrus just isn't pleasant. However, if you brush your teeth with Green Beaver Green Apple Toothpaste, the orange juice tastes like...well...orange juice. Ahhh.

So I have given you plenty of reasons to forego the fluoride. Now I have provided a viable alternative. The Green Beaver toothpastes run $5.95 for a 75ml tube and you won't find better customer service than you'll get from Leaf & Bud Naturals. They also sell natural mouthwashes and dental floss, although I've not tried them.

That's it for this Wednesday. Think I'll go pour a glass of some nice cold, filtered water!

Keeping it green,

Hana

Disclaimer: I am not a doctor, pharmacist, chemist, nutritionist, or any other kind of health care practitioner. I am just a blogger who cares about the health of my friends and family, as well as the environment. I do my best to present accurate facts, but it is always best to do some research on your own and, when in doubt, to talk with your doctor...especially when the well-being of your children is involved.

9 comments:

  1. There are many large scientific studies to show that that drinking fluoridated water has no effect on cavity reduction and to show that it causes cancer and other health problems. The best source for scientific information on fluoridation can be found here: (www.fluoridealert.org).
    If fluoride were "proven," there should be evidence of its glory in Kentucky, which has been 100% fluoridated for over 40 years. Kentucky, however, leads the nation in the number of dental cavities in children, and in the number of completely toothless adults, according to government records. The same ineffectiveness is evident in many states and cities.

    Most of Europe (16 countries) has rejected fluoridation and is 98% fluoride free. and the WHO reports that they have a better tooth decay rate than any fluoridated country.
    If you want fluoride in your water, put it in your own glass of water; leave the rest of us out of it.

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  2. One caveat of filtered water is that filtering with a typical pitcher (Brita, Pur, etc) does not remove fluoride. You need reverse osmosis filtered water to get the fluoride out. Some purchased water is free of fluoride but you have to check.

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  3. Thank you for providing more insight into this. Wanda -- do you know if refrigerator filters remove the fluoride?

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  4. Uusally at my 6 month dental checkups they give me a fluoride treatment. They didn't give it to me while I was pregnant and this last time said I couldn't have it because I was breastfeeding. Why are we getting fluoride treatments to begin with? Should I make sure to pass from now on???

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  5. You have to decide for yourself. I would opt to skip it.

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  6. So I wonder if a britta tap filter (not fridge jug) would be any different. Even I did not know the extent of the bad affects from fluoride. I knew it was bad which is why my wife & I sell the real, natural ingredient filled toothpastes! Very scary since I used britta filtered water to make my sons formula for a while thinking it took out fluoride.... (good thing we believed in breast feeding for a year so he only had so much formula....)
    I hope you don't mind if I take some of this info and put it into our glossary? I'll link to you.

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  7. Hope this helps you like it helped me. Try Oraltech Labs as it worked for me, although I will say it's not just do this and "bam your breath is cured" as they make you change your entire mouth cleaning habits. So you end up doing it all their way. But in the end it becomes a daily routine. It covers Post Nasal Drip and Tonsil Stones as well thankfully. When you have bad breath it messes up your whole life. And I suppose the best thing is they don't make you go out buying "special" products for the rest of your life. So try Oraltech Labs. Just don't get it and then think you'll do what it says “now and then” because it's either all or nothing, and trust me getting rid of my room clearing faecal breath meant I was all in. Alex’s, J. USA.

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  8. Thanks for the Oraltech Labs tip...for anyone who may be interested. I wouldn't say I had a problem with "faecal breath," just basically not "fresh breath," so it's not a problem. Besides, I didn't have the problem when I switched to the Green Apple paste.

    @Al, please feel free to use whatever you'd like. Just give proper credit to the source (not necessarily me!) since I'm no expert, I was just quoting some. Of course, I never mind links to GG!!

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  9. Ok thanks! :D Ill keep that all in mind!

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