Death By Toothpaste Part I: The Fluoride Myth
As parents, we teach our children the importance of brushing their teeth. Unfortunately, when most kids do brush, they’re using toothpaste made from a slew of dangerous compounds including artificial colorings and flavorings, aspartame, DEA, propylene glycol, saccharin, sodium lauryl sulfate, stannous fluoride and triclosan.
I have always been concerned about the toxic chemicals added to most brands of commercial toothpaste. But this concern was amplified when I became a father, since toxin-filled toothpaste is marketed so heavily to children using bright colors and sweet flavors as gimmicks to make them enjoy brushing more. Sadly, most dentists are oblivious to the long-term health consequences of exposing children to these dangerous chemicals at a young age.
That’s why I decided to investigate the potential health risks linked to the dangerous compounds found in most commercial brands of toothpaste. What I discovered proved to be sobering wakeup call that should alarm all parents and health-conscious individuals.
In Part I of this two-part special report, I’m going to focus on the primary poison added to most popular children’s toothpaste brands—and to our drinking water: fluoride.
Fluoride? Isn’t that the wonder drug responsible for the “Look Mom, no cavities!” dental report we all want for our kids? It is if you believe the American Dental Association (ADA) and most toothpaste manufacturers.
Should You Trust the ADA?
Beginning in 1945, municipal governments across the U.S. began to fortify their water supplies with a form of fluoride quite different than the form of the compound found in natural lakes, rivers, and aquifers. The fluoride added to our drinking water (hexafluorosilicic acid) is generated as a by-product from the phosphate fertilizer industry. This is a different chemical form than what is added to many toothpaste products (stannous fluoride). In my opinion, both forms pose serious health and cosmetic risks to our children and us.
Today more than ever, America is awash in toxic forms of fluoride added to drinking water, food, toothpaste, mouth rinses and other dental care products. Yet, even as government officials, trusted health organizations and toothpaste manufacturers eagerly promote the universal use of fluoride-laced toothpaste and drinking water for children and adults, not everyone is smiling.
There are valid reasons for skepticism. For example, I discovered that the American Dental Association (ADA) receives large sums of money from the toothpaste industry for endorsing their fluoride-based products. In 1997, the NY Times reported that the ADA had endorsed Crest toothpaste and at least 1,300 other products. In fact, Crest, introduced by Procter & Gamble as America’s first commercial fluoride toothpaste, became the number-one bestselling dentifrice by 1960 only after the ADA did what it had never done before: endorse one specific brand of toothpaste.
If a toothpaste manufacturer is willing to pay the ADA to acquire its coveted “Seal of Acceptance” for their toothpaste, they will probably receive it. The ADA examines each submission to make sure it meets certain criteria, but those criteria, with respect to safety and efficacy, have been called into question by a growing number of research studies. The cozy pay-to-play relationship between the ADA and toothpaste manufacturers hardly inspires confidence in the impartiality of the ADA’s blessing printed on the labels of numerous dental-care products.
Here’s another aspect of the ADA’s ethics I find disturbing: A report revealed that in 1995, the ADA received 15% of its annual income from such trade groups as the Sugar Association, Coca-Cola, and M & M. With one hand, the ADA accepts submission payments from toothpaste manufacturers who are seeking its “Seal of Acceptance” for decay-fighting dental products; with the other hand, the ADA accepts “donations” from the food companies that make products guaranteed to cause tooth decay. As a result of these apparent conflicts of interest, I’m now skeptical of anything the ADA says—or of any product it endorses.
Fluoride: Every Parent’s Nightmare
What I discovered next truly alarmed me: In 1997, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) beefed up the warning printed on every toothpaste tube to read: “If more than used for brushing is accidentally swallowed, get medical help or contact a poison-control center right away.”
Equally as disturbing, I found a number of studies that link fluoride to allergic reactions, cancer, dementia, reduced IQ, dental deformity, and hardening of the arteries. So not only is ingesting even a small amount of fluoride cause for immediate concern, these studies suggest that there are even much greater long-term consequences, since as adults they’ll run the risk of suffering from one or more serious health problems. Does this sound like something we should be pushing our kids to put in their mouths twice a day?
Most parents might think they could rely on toothpaste companies to make safe and effective products for their kids and on the FDA to ban harmful products from the marketplace; this couldn’t be further from the truth. Regrettably, the need to seek medical assistance if your kid accidentally swallows more than a pea-sized amount of toothpaste suggests there’s been corruption of morality on the part of both industry and the government.
Is Fluoride Toothpaste Toxic When Used as Directed?
Here’s another thing that infuriates me: Most toothpaste manufacturers infuse their products with tempting artificial flavors that actually entice kids to swallow more toothpaste than they otherwise normally would. Can you blame them with candy-like flavors such as “whacky watermelon” and
The fact is that we all ingest a small amount of the ingredients in our toothpaste each time we brush our teeth—even if we can avoid swallowing toothpaste residue—because they are absorbed through the mouth’s gingival, sublingual, lingual and buccal tissues directly into the blood. Does that mean that death by toothpaste is unavoidable because we simply can’t rinse away the risk? Not if I can help it!
In Part II of this report, I will provide you with practical solutions to preventing and even reversing toothpaste toxicity, the best natural brands that are free of harmful chemicals and instructions on how to make your own naturally safe toothpaste.
Today, toxicologists know much more about the harmful effects of fluoride compounds in our water and toothpaste than they did in the 1950s, when fluoride toothpaste made its debut. Fluoride is indisputably toxic when ingested in high doses or in smaller doses over decades. Recently, the Environmental Working Group, a watchdog organization, petitioned the National Institutes of Health to declare fluoride a known carcinogen because it disrupts DNA function in our cells. John Yiamouyiannis, in his book, Fluoride and the Aging Factor, describes how the fluorine ion disrupts enzyme activity and attacks DNA and protein.
Fluoride Politics and Shabby Science: A Deadly Duo
What should be crystal clear to you by now is that ever since the 1950s, when Procter & Gamble first brought fluoride toothpaste to our embrace, trusting Americans have been slowly poisoning themselves with a toxic chemical recognized as safe and effective by the ADA, an organization that, in my opinion, should not be trusted.
You may be surprised to learn that fluoride was formerly used as a rat poison and insecticide. So how did we get to a place where the ADA and millions of dentists promote the use of fluoride as a valuable decay-preventive treatment for people of all ages?
The results of my investigation led to three conclusions:
1. Well-meaning scientists misinterpreted questionable data derived from poorly constructed early studies on fluoride toxicity and the effects of water fluoridation and fluoride use in dental care products on the prevalence of cavities.
2. Toothpaste manufacturers seized upon a marketing opportunity generated by flawed fluoride research and the ADA’s questionable enthusiasm for fluoride. They capitalized on our national obsession with “feeling clean” by adding toxic detergents to their products and maximized profits by replacing natural ingredients with cheaper, synthetic ones.
3. The fundamental reason our government tenaciously supports mass fluoridation of municipal water supplies and promotes the use of fluoride-laced dental-care products is the same reason it advocates the use of highly-toxic mercury amalgam fillings: as an inexpensive way to reduce social inequalities in dental health.
FAST FACT: By the time our kids reach adulthood, they wind up with the same number of cavities as children in countries that ban fluoride in their water supplies.
How Fluoride Can Ruin Your Child’s Smile
Dental fluorosis—discoloration and mottling of the enamel and dentin layers of teeth—occurs as a result of excess fluoride ingestion during tooth formation. In a child’s permanent teeth, this typically begins with the lower incisors, which undergo complete mineralization at approximately 2–3 years of age, and ends after mineralization of the third molars.
You’ve most likely seen fluorosed teeth before—those that have white flecks against a darker background. In 1999-2004, children aged 12-15 had a higher prevalence of dental fluorosis compared with children of the same age in 1986-1987. That type of discoloration is due to enamel subsurface that has been permanently damaged by fluoride ingestion. This is because too much fluoride can disrupt proper mineralization in a young child’s teeth; with more severe dental fluorosis, pitting and a loss of the enamel surface occurs, leading to secondary staining, which appears as a brown color. Regrettably, such pitting and staining lasts a lifetime. Research by the National Institute of Dental Research suggests that dental fluorosis increases tooth decay.
As a result of this increase in childhood fluorosis, the Department of Health and Human Services and Environmental Protection Agency recently recommended changing the amount of fluoride in drinking water for the first time in 50 years. Now, all community water supplies will contain a uniform amount of fluoride. The Agency proposed the historic change because of an unprecedented increase in fluorosis.
Dental fluorosis is much more than merely a cosmetic problem—it is also a visible sign of chronic fluoride poisoning. This occurs because we only excrete 50% of the fluoride we ingest from all sources. The remaining fluoride is disseminated throughout the body, accumulating in our bones, pineal gland, and cardiovascular system.
Fluoride And Your Brain
Human studies conducted in China, India, Iran and Mexico that show a substantial reduction IQ in fluoridated areas. Fluoride ingestion has been shown to increase the body’s absorption of aluminum by over 600%. Aluminum ingestion has been linked to increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease and other neurological problems including ADD, ADHD and Parkinson’s. Is it a coincidence that the rate of Alzheimer’s is twice as high in the U.S. than in Europe, where many countries have banned fluoridation?
Death By Toothpaste: Part II
In the next installment of this special report, I’ll tell you about the history of toothpaste, the health hazards of other chemicals in your toothpaste, how to prevent and reverse toothpaste toxicity and how to shop for non-toxic toothpaste. I’ll even show you how to make all-natural and healthy toothpaste in your own kitchen.
UPDATE: Death By Toothpaste Part II has been published, and can be found here: http://www.liveinthenow.com/article/death-by-toothpaste-part-ii-all-natural-alternatives-to-toxic-toothpaste-ingredients
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Joshua Corn – Editor-in-Chief
Josh is a health freedom advocate and veteran of the natural health industry. He has been actively involved in the natural health movement for over 15 years, and has been dedicated to the promotion of health, vitality, longevity and natural living throughout his career. Josh has successfully overcome several personal health challenges through natural means, and believes that sharing information can empower people to take control of their health so they can solve their own problems and live life to its fullest potential. Josh is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Live in the Now. Additionally he serves as CEO of Stop Aging Now, a company that has been formulating premium dietary supplements since 1995. Josh is currently working on his first book about natural health, and is gearing up to launch the Live in the Now radio show. In addition to his work in the natural health field, Josh is an avid outdoorsman, animal lover and enjoys “living in the now” with his wife and two sons.