When I woke up this morning, I stumbled upon the article consumer advocate, Erin Brockovich, shared on Facebook by Waking Science; “Fluoride Officially Classified as a Neurotoxin in World’s Most Prestigious Medical Journal”. A neurotoxin is anything that disrupts normal brain activity. Considering that most toothpastes use fluoride, I just wanted to weigh in real quick…
As many of you know, the whole reason I became interested in clean eating in the first place was because I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS) in 1998—when I initially set out to clean up my lifestyle I really just focused on the food, which of course made a HUGE difference! However, over the years I have continued to clean up more and more beyond the food, such as beauty products, house hold cleansers, dental hygiene products, etc.
Fluoride is a Neurotoxin We Put In Our Mouths
There is no doubt about it, fluoride is a neurotoxin (1). When I found out that the fluoride toothpaste I had been using for years had an ingredient that interferes with processes that normally take place in the brain, I wiped it from our bathroom at once. Even though you may not intentionally swallow the fluoride in your toothpaste, you do still absorb it. If you use fluoride toothpaste day after day, year after year, it can definitely add up. And if you have a condition like MS, the LAST thing you want to do is expose yourself to a neurotoxin day after day! Fluoride has also been linked to thyroid problems, by the way (2). You can read here about the toothpaste I use now HERE.
As for fluoride and cavities—-When I grew up my mom took me to the dentist every 6 months and every 6 months I got the big fluoride treatment offered by my dentist. I was obsessed with being clean too and I can tell you I brushed my teeth religiously (with fluoride, of course!) every morning and night between visits. And yet, I have a MOUTH FULL of cavities! It’s true I ate total junk between dentist visit, especially in my teen years, but the point is, the fluoride didn’t seem to help prevent the cavities.
Our Fluoride-Free Kid!
Our son, Blake Larson, will turn fifteen years old in less than a month and unlike me, he has been raised to eat clean his entire life. I have never given him fluoride toothpaste nor the fluoride treatment at the dentist. We actually just went to the dentist this past week and so far he has never had a single cavity (knock on wood!!) His teeth are also coming in perfectly straight, which is so unusual these days that people actually comment on it and ask how his teeth are so straight without braces. Straight teeth in children has actually been correlated to a whole foods diet–but that’s another story!
Anyway, I do think that if you eat clean and brush your teeth with a non-toxic toothpaste and visit the dentist regularly for cleanings that it is entirely possible to avoid getting cavities even if you do not use fluoride.
And, for the record, ever since I cleaned up my diet and also eliminated fluoride, I have not had a single new cavity. The only problem I have had with my teeth has been old cavities breaking down. Your teeth are SO vitally important to your overall health and it is essential to take care of them. But I do not think you need to use a toxin to do so.
1. Grandjean P, Landrigan PJ. “Neurobehavioral effects of developmental toxicity.” Lancet Neurol. 2014 Mar;13(3):330-8. doi: 10.1016/S1474-4422(13)70278-3. Epub 2014 Feb 17.
2. Liu H, et al. “The effects and underlying mechanism of excessive iodine on the excessive fluoride-induced thyroid cytotoxicity.” Environ Toxicol Pharmacol. 2014 Jul;38(1):332-40. doi: 10.1016/j.etap.2014.06.008. Epub 2014 Jun 27.
Saturday 27th of February 2016
Hi Ivy, what about fluoride in drinking water? We have well water, and I never gave my daughters fluoride supplements when they were little, as recommended by their dentist and pediatrician. So they have had hardly any fluoride in their lives. Unfortunately, both of them have had many cavities, in spite of never missing cleanings and brushing well. Did the article talk about flouride in water, or just in toothpaste? Thanks!
Thursday 3rd of March 2016
Hi Lisa, The article did not talk about the fluoride in water BUT I do know that as of April 2015 the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recommended lowering the levels of fluoride in drinking water, the first change it has suggested since 1962. The new recommended limit is 0.7 milligrams (mg) of fluoride per liter of water, down from the previous range of 0.7 to 1.2 mg per liter. I also know only a handful of countries still have fluoride in the water. Since 2010, over 165 communities worldwide have either ended fluoridation or rejected new proposals (e.g. Portland, Oregon). In my opinion, this means it probably could be problematic =(