Walk down the toothpaste aisle at Tesco, Boots or any other drugstore across the country, and you’re unlikely to find a single brand of toothpaste that doesn’t contain fluoride.
That’s good, right?
Ha. That’s what you think.
We’ve long been told that fluoride can protect against gum disease, cavities and dry mouth; but did you know that excess fluoride in the body can actually detrimentally affect your kidneys? How about the brain and your bones? And let’s not forget — wait for it — your teeth. Too much of a “good thing” from toothpaste and fluoridated water can actually cause your teeth to lose enamel, change colour, pit and fall apart. Why would anyone want to take that risk when you can take care of your teeth just fine by brushing, flossing and eating a healthy diet?
I think the reason for this misinformation, as well as others — that soda isn’t bad for you, that corn syrup is fine in moderation, that sodium laureth sulfate in our shampoo is nothing to worry about — boils down to more than just one thing. But if you’re skeptical, think about it: How could the government say that Coca-Cola is bad for you? Industry lobbyists, anyone? Corn farmers and subsidies? All of the hard work and time/money it would take to remove SLES from daily-use products? In terms of fluoride, you can chalk that up to a bunch of dentists who form the sole group of advisors to the Centres for Disease Control on the entire issue of fluoridation.
Funny story, though: Fluoride use to prevent tooth decay was actually discovered after the brown stains and mottling that it can also cause to the enamel of our teeth. Thanks, but no thanks — I’ll brush, floss and eat right, and I’ll bet you I can avoid both spotty teeth AND cavities. Sounds just like the “don’t eat sugar, eat corn syrup” argument to me. Makes no sense to rob Peter to pay Paul.
I’ve been using both Desert Essence Tea Tree Oil & Neem toothpaste and Jason Powersmile, which do not contain fluoride or sodium lauryl sulfate, and at my last dental checkup — insane pregnancy hormones and all, which do tend to cause more dental issues — I was cavity free. I’m not even sure if my teeth don’t look whiter now than before!
I’m all about simple switches, and this has been the easiest for me (along with deodorant) in terms of satisfaction with the “green” product versus conventional kinds. No complaints, no issues, just a healthier me. Go to your local health food store the next time you run out of toothpaste and do YOUR health a favour, too.