Nearly all commercial toothpaste brands contain fluoride, but did you know that fluoride is a poison, used in insecticides, rat poison and weapons of mass destruction? What’s more, it is actually non-essential for preventing tooth decay, which can easily be avoided through proper oral hygiene WITHOUT fluoride ingredients.
1. We don’t need it.
Fluoride acts like “armour” which can help block bacteria, called plaque, from decaying your teeth. However, if you kill the plaque by brushing properly, then there’s nothing to protect your teeth from, and therefore no need for fluoride.
Unfortunately, people who don’t brush their teeth properly or regularly, (or who drink more than 12 cans of Mountain Dew a day, as is the average in some parts of Kentucky, USA) cost taxpayers millions each year in dental complications. That is why the government makes its own life easier and cheaper by putting fluoride in our water: to enforce at least SOME degree of protection on those who don’t already have adequate oral hygiene.
For the rest of us who don’t drink 12 cans of Mountain Dew a day, and brush and floss properly however, fluoride is absolutely not essential – as anyone living in continental Europe will tell you. Most European countries have never had fluoride in their water, and many Europeans also use fluoride-free toothpaste.
Imagine if I told you that washing your hands is not necessary, because all you need to do to kill off any infections and germs in your body is to drink arsenic daily. Would you drink arsenic, or just go to the effort to clean your hands properly to prevent the spread of diseases? You’d do the latter right? It’s a no-brainer!
Likewise, if you clean your teeth properly with ingredients that kill bacteria and clean your teeth and gums properly, you do not need to ingest poison (fluoride) to strengthen your teeth against decay-causing bacteria. Besides, especially once reaching adulthood, your teeth are fully developed and are never going to get much stronger no matter how much fluoride you put on them.
Tooth decay has declined greatly in all the developed nations in the last 50 years, however this has nothing to do with fluoride, and everything to do with the fact that more people are educated about proper oral hygiene and are cleaning their teeth properly; and it is the other ingredients in toothpaste which do this – not fluoride.
See point number 5 for more information about the evidence that fluoride does not prevent tooth decay.
2. Fluoride is poison
Like so many everyday substances that have been found to be toxic, fluoride has its roots in World War II research into weapons of mass destruction. Massive quantities of fluoride were essential for the manufacture of bomb-grade uranium and plutonium for nuclear weapons throughout the Cold War.
Post-WWII, fluoride was a popular form of rat poison and insecticide. It proved an effective way to kill lice, rodents and humans. In some homicides, the poison of choice was fluoride.
Today, fluoride is routinely added to the water supply of around 10% of the UK population (though this figure is set to rise) and more than 60% of the US population. These figures are in stark contrast to the 98% of Western Europe that has rejected fluoridation on the grounds that it does not work and that it is morally reprehensible to forcibly medicate whole populations of people.
The fluoride added to our water is essentially industrial waste – namely, hydrofluorosilicic acid, a byproduct of the phosphate-fertiliser industry.
SOURCE: What’s so bad about fluoride?
3. The average 100mg tube of toothpaste contains enough fluoride to poison a small child to death
Some people think that the fluoride we ingest must be in small enough amounts to make it harmless. But is it really?
Children eating toothpaste is one of the top causes of calls to Poison help lines.
For instance, a 10-kg (22 pound) child who ingests 50 mg of fluoride (roughly equivalent to one-third of a tube of toothpaste containing 1500 ppm or one-half of a tube of 1000-ppm toothpaste) will have ingested a probably toxic dose.
Put simply, this means that there is enough fluoride in half of the average 100-mg tube of toothpaste to kill a small child.
In the US, fluoride-containing toothpastes now come with a health warning and information on how to contact your local poisons control office in the event of accidental ingestion. The UK has yet to follow suit.
Studies show that we ingest around 33% of the toothpaste we put on the brush, so even if that’s not enough to kill us instantly, is it slowly poisoning us?
4. Even in small amounts, fluoride has toxic effects on our body
Many people have been wrongly convinced that fluoride is necessary for dental health. In actuality, fluoride is extremely toxic, and in the USA, fluoride ingestion is one of the most common reasons for calls to Poison Control. The health consequences from fluoride exposure, water or otherwise, can be horrendous.
- Fluoride is a neurotoxin that could cause damage equivalent to that from a traumatic brain injury; children living in highly fluoridated areas have up to five times greater chance of developing a low IQ compared to those who do not.
- Fluoride calcifies the pineal gland.
- Fluoride can affect thyroid and it’s ability to absorb iodine.
- Fluoride consumption can cause skeletal fluorosis, a condition resulting in weak bones.
- Research has shown that fluoride exposure can cause early puberty in girls.
- Higher levels of fluoride correspond to lower fertility rates in both men and women.
- Areas with high fluoride levels in the water tend to have a higher rate of chronic kidney disease.
- Research suggests fluoride causes cardiovascular inflammation and atherosclerosis.
- The Fluoride Action Network reports that, as of May 2013, 43 studies have examined the effect of fluoride on human intelligence.
- Fluoride may play a role in ADHD and other mental issues, according to research from the Harvard School of Public Health.
On March 22, 2006, the prestigious National Research Council of the National Academies of Science in the United States released a 450-page review of fluoride toxicity. The report, which was three years in the making, concluded that the safe drinking water standard for fluoride (4 ppm) causes significant damage to teeth, and places consumers at elevated risk for bone damage, including bone fracture and joint pain.
Because of this, the NRC recommended that the fluoride safety standard in drinking water be reduced. In addition to its concerns about tooth and bone damage, the NRC identified a range of other health effects that may be associated with fluoride exposure, including damage to the brain, disruption of the endocrine system (thyroid gland, pineal gland, and glucose metabolism), and bone cancer.
While proponents of fluoridation have long claimed that the safety of fluoride is a “settled” question, the NRC report emphatically undermines this contention. The NRC report identifies a staggering number of fundamental questions about fluoride’s safety that have yet to be adequately addressed.
As noted by FAN’s Executive Director, Dr. Paul Connett, “the crucial message of this report is that the highest scientific authority in the US has determined that low levels of fluoride in drinking water may have serious adverse health effects.”
If lows levels in our drinking water are bad for us, imagine what the high levels of fluoride in most toothpastes could do if used twice a day for our entire lives?
5. We are already exposed to plenty of fluoride and don’t need to add more.
Today we are exposed to fluorides from a wide range of sources, including air pollution, drinking water, beverages, medicines, anaesthetics, pesticide and herbicide residues, and more.
Unfortunately it’s not possible to filter the fluoride out of your tap water, so to reduce your intake, the best advice is to switch to non-fluoride toothpaste and mouthwash. An organic diet will also help eliminate pesticides residues which may also contain fluoride.
6. Fluoridation has no proven impact on tooth decay rates
It is often claimed that fluoridated water is the main reason the United States and Australia have had a large decline in tooth decay over the past 60 years. This same decline in tooth decay, however, has occurred in all developed countries, most of which have never added any fluoride to their water. Today, according to data from the World Health Organization, there is no discernible difference in tooth decay between the minority of developed countries that fluoridate water, and the majority that do not.
Most advanced nations do not fluoridate their water. In western Europe, 97% of the population has water without a single drop of fluoride added to it. Fluoridation proponents will sometimes say this is because Europe adds fluoride to its salt. Only five nations in western Europe, however, have any fluoridated salt. The vast majority do not.
Communities have discontinued water fluoridation in some countries, including Finland, Germany, Japan, the Netherlands, Sweden, and Switzerland. On August 26, 2014, Israel officially stopped adding fluoride to its water supplies, stating “There is … scientific evidence that fluoride in large amounts can lead to damage to health.”
7. It causes Fluorosis (Chronic Fluoride Toxicity)
Fluoridated water is responsible for increased rates of fluorosis (where teeth become white-spotted, yellow, brown-stained or pitted, the result of what one researcher calls chronic fluoride toxicity).
In the US the incidence of fluorosis is increasing. A major study compared data from two national surveys, 1985-87 and 1999-2004, found that rates of dental fluorosis were 23% and 41%, respectively, among adolescents aged 12 to 15. Similarly, the prevalence of very mild fluorosis (17.2% and 28.5%), mild fluorosis (4.1% and 8.6%) and moderate and severe fluorosis combined (1.3% and 3.6%) have increased.
Studies show that the highest incidence of fluorosis is in areas where the water is naturally fluoridated, followed by areas where the water supply is deliberately dosed with fluoride. The lowest incidence of fluorosis is where the water is not fluoridated.
In a study published in the British Dental Journal in 2000, leading UK researchers from Newcastle City Health NHS Trust, for example, found that the prevalence of dental fluorosis among 8 – 9-year-old children in fluoridated Newcastle was 54%. In “fluoride-deficient” Northumberland, where the water isn’t fluoridated only 23% of 8 – 9-year-old children had dental fluorosis. They concluded that the prevalence of “aesthetically important” fluorosis in the fluoridated area was 3% – six times higher than found in the non-fluoridated area, where 0.5% of the children were affected.
What this means is that over-exposure to fluoride is possible, even in areas where the drinking water is not fluoridated, usually from sources, including those not intended for ingestion, such as toothpaste.