Fluoride Treatments: Are They Toxic?

When I was a kid they did “fluoride treatments” at school on Wednesdays and everyone swished and spit into a cup. Not sure why, but Fluoride ToxicI am thankful my mother never signed us up for this insanity. We started avoiding fluoride in toothpastes about 4 years ago when I learned that it is a neurotoxin. (http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2007/11/22/fluoride-damages-your-brain.aspx)  (For the record I am 43 and have never had a cavity) Fluoride has been linked to bone fractures, thyroid disorders, and impaired brain development and function.  Ironically, fluoride is also linked to fluorosis. (https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/databriefs/db53.htm)  Fluorosis is white streaks/brown stains and broken enamel on teeth.

In putting together my toothpaste blog I already knew fluoride was a toxin. I knew most towns still add it to their drinking water. I was shocked when this came up on our town’s Facebook  mom page last month. A concerned parent asked why we still have it in our water. This was followed by many comments supporting how great it is and how everyone should be entitled to fluoride water.

Let’s explore things we know…

  1. Most developed countries do NOT add fluoride to their water. (Keeping in mind many of these countries also have stricter rules than the United States about toxins that are allowed to be in your food or beauty products.  Perhaps we are late to the party?)
  2. It can be noted that since fluoride has been added to the water tooth decay has declined-it is often left out that it declined in the countries who do not use fluoride in their water as well. (http://www.actionpa.org/fluoride/countries.pdf)
  3. We all know the FDA tells us it’s poisonous to consume more than a pea size amount of toothpaste for children if it contains fluoride. (FYI by those measurements your tube should last your whole family about a year!)
  4. We all aim to drink 8oz of fluorinated water a day. I won’t pretend to know the ratio per glass because I have NO idea but from what I could find it seems one 8oz glass contains the same amount of recommended consumable toothpaste during brushing. Interesting fact-China does NOT put fluoride in their water because it’s too toxic and causes damages in studies.

Natural occurring fluoride IS found in some waters. Natural occurring fluoride has what is called calcium fluoride –they bond together and are not absorbed much by your body. Hydrofluorosilcic acid (artificial fluoride which is added to the water) is absorbed by your body and is 1000x more toxic. Sodium fluoride (pharmaceutical grade) is what is used in most studies-BUT is NOT what is added to your water. Is that Sodium Fluoride safer? According to private testing sodium fluoride powder contained traces of aluminum, arsenic, strontium, lead, uranium and tungsten. We acknowledge how dangerous those items are for our bodies. Even if you believe consuming fluoride is safe-is that a compromise you are willing to make? Personally I will skip the arsenic and aluminum thanks!

I am not sure why there is not more concern about this. If you want to believe in fluoride-keep it where it “belongs” on your teeth.  (We opt for fluoride free-and no cavities thus far!) As for water we opt for Poland springs or Fiji drinking water.  While they do contain fluoride-it is NATURAL occurring.

Fluoride Toxic


Toxins in Toothpaste

Last week we focused on Triclosan and where it is hiding. One of the biggest places is your toothpaste. While it is true that the FDA Toxins in Toothpastehas stated triclosan has proven to fight gingivitis-is it worth the trade off? Triclosan has also shown to be an endocrine disruptor. This term gets mentioned a lot but isn’t always explained. Basically any endocrine disrupting chemicals can promote health issues such as breast cancer, testicular cancer, low term birth weight and the progression of cancers.  The animal studies that have included triclosan have shown it may interfere with cells that signal the brain and heart as well as having hormonal effects. Triclosan has also shown to cause resistance to antibiotics. One study showed that people who brushed their teeth with particular toothpaste high in triclosan had five times more triclosan in their urine.

Aside Triclosan, other toxins in toothpaste:

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) or Sodium Lauryl Ether Sulfate – is what makes your toothpaste all foamy. I have to admit it took some getting used to when I switched to toothpaste that didn’t include that-however it is a psychological effect-the toothpaste still works without getting foamy J The problem with SLS? It is often contaminated with 1,4 dioxane which is a carcinogen. SLS is a registered insecticide and is toxic to the environments and marine life. SLS can also cause skin irritation and sores.

Fluoride –  is a touchy one. Fluoride is actually a neurotoxin and does accumulate in your tissues over time. Toothpaste that contains natural occurring cacao extract bromine has shown to be more beneficial in repairing and re-mineralizing teeth than fluoride according to more recent studies. Fluoride is imported from China (red flag? More on that next week!)

Propylene Glycol –  is as dangerous as it sounds. It is a mineral that is also used in paints, antifreeze and de-icers for airplanes. It has shown to cause organ toxicity, skin and eye irritations.

Diethanolamine (DEA) – Classified as a 10 (10 being the most toxic) with EWG’s ratings it is tied to stomach cancer as well as liver, bladder and esophagus cancers. California has declared it a possible human carcinogen. Seems like something we shouldn’t brush our teeth with?

Artificial Sweeteners and colors –  It gets complicated here. It’s easy to start with aspartame since we know it’s no good.  Saccharine is another one to avoid. Xylitol has mixed thoughts but so far is being considered more safe than not. Some artificial colors and sweeteners may be contaminated with heavy metals or made from petrochemicals. No thank you!

Carrageenan – This one annoys me beyond belief mostly because I find in many “natural” types of toothpaste that people think they have swapped safely for. It is a carcinogen and causes inflammation.

Glycerin –  While glycerin is not toxic by itself, but doesn’t rinse off the surface of your teeth and prevents the natural flow and protection of saliva.

Lead –  Apparently Earthpaste has tested for lead. (Unfortunate, since they have a great EWG score ingredient wise.) http://leadsafeamerica.org/earthpaste/  They have stated that it is natural occurring. Natural or not we know there is NO safe level of lead for consumption so it is best not to include it in your toothpaste. This is a controversial issue for toothpastes with bentonite clay in them. I invite you to research and decide for yourself.


What are some better choices?

Personally I have come to like Ugly by Nature (https://uglybynature.com). I have tried a few flavors but I am partial to the mints since my brain has programmed to feel clean with a minty toothpaste.  I have used it for over a year and I have no complaints from my dentist or myself. (As I side note I also do regular oil pulling-to read more check out our previous blog post on mouthwash!)  Check your brand at EWG and find yourself a safer swap!




Toxins in Toothpaste