Warning: Never Swallow Regular Toothpaste
April 07, 2009
By Dr. Mercola
Fluoride, one of the most consumed drugs in the United States, is deliberately added to about two-thirds of U.S. public water supplies, theoretically to reduce tooth decay, even though there's no scientifically-valid evidence proving either safety or effectiveness.
In this video, Dr. Bill Osmunson, general and cosmetic dentist for 30 years, talks about how he came to change his mind about water fluoridation, which he promoted aggressively for the first 25 years of his practice. He thought he saw the benefits, but it wasn't until he actually reviewed the information for himself that he began to realize that fluoridation is a serious problem.
Why Does Toothpaste Carry a Warning But Fluoridated Water Does Not?
One of the first things he did was look at a tube of toothpaste, which clearly carries the warning: "Do not swallow," and "in case of accidental ingestion, contact the poison control center."
The amount of fluoride they're talking about is a quarter milligram of fluoride, contained in a pea size amount of toothpaste.
But here is the kicker, This is the same amount of fluoride you find in 8 oz of water. Yet toothpaste carries a "Do not swallow" warning, whereas you're typically told to drink eight 8oz glasses of water each day, without any concern for the amount of fluoride you will ingest.
One of Dr. Osmunson's main concerns is water fluoridation for infants. The American Dental Association (ADA) and the Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommend that infants NOT receive fluoridated water for drinking, nor for making their formula, as fluoridated water contains 250 times more fluoride than mother's milk.
"We shouldn't fluoridate water and harm our most vulnerable," he says.
Personally, I also strongly advise you do not give your children fluoridated water.
Unfortunately, the only way to ensure your water is pure enough to drink is by installing a good water filtration system in your house, such as a reverse osmosis filter that can filter out fluoride and other dangerous water contaminants like disinfection byproducts (DBPs). Bottled water also typically contains fluoride, even though it's not stated on the label.
Dental Fluorosis – A Clear Sign of Excessive Fluoride Intake
The next thing Dr. Osmunson looked at was dental fluorosis. These are the white and brown spots on your teeth. The only thing that causes dental fluorosis is fluoride – typically due to ingesting too much fluoride during your developing years, from birth to about 8 years of age. According to the CDC, about one third of children and adolescents 6 to 19 years have enamel fluorosis on their teeth.
When dental fluorosis occurs, it can be an indication that the rest of your body has been exposed to too much fluoride also, such as your bones and the rest of your organs, including your brain.
So, are there actual benefits of water fluoridation?
Depending on the source, water fluoridation has been said to reduce tooth decay by anywhere from 20 to 80 percent. But when you compare the statistics between different countries, you see that no matter whether they fluoridate their water or not, tooth decay has steadily been reduced by the same amount.
Likewise, when you compare states in the U.S., you find that increased amounts of fluoride in the drinking water make no difference. We have the same amount of good healthy teeth, regardless of water fluoridation.
So, if there's no benefit, WHY are we fluoridating?
Why Do We Fluoridate Drinking Water if It's Not Healthy?
The evidence points to it being little more than a well-orchestrated PR stunt to aid an industry in trouble – a fascinating story in and of itself, as described so well in Christopher Bryson's book The Fluoride Deception and in one of the best web sites on this topic, Fluoride Action Network (FAN).
Other pro-fluoride advocates go so far as to try to make you believe that fluoride is a nutrient that naturally helps build strong teeth and bones. One such example is the Directive 2002/46/EC of the European Parliament and the Council, which lists "fluoride" as one of only 28 vitamins and minerals permissible for sale for human consumption within the European Union.
But let's make this point clear: fluoride is NOT an essential nutrient. The fluoride added to your drinking water is in fact a chemical waste product! It is NOT something you should use as a supplement to your diet.
There are plenty of studies showing the dangers of fluoride to your health, such as:
The Key to Healthy Teeth is in Your Diet!
If you're wondering how to keep your teeth healthy, remember that fluoride was never the answer in the first place. Instead, look to your diet for naturally healthy teeth. In fact, most people whose diet includes very little sugar and few processed foods have very low rates of tooth decay.
Limiting, or eliminating sugar, and avoiding processed foods -- along with regular cleanings with your natural dentist -- will ensure that your teeth stay healthy naturally.
What You Can Do to Help Eliminate Water Fluoridation
Dr. Osmunson suggests you talk to your dentist and health care provider about water fluoridation. For example, ask them if they've seen the National Academy of Sciences report on fluoridation. You can help educate them by giving them information they may not have on water fluoridation and excess fluoridation exposure.
He also suggests that professional health care providers and dentists take the time to look at both sides of the issue. If you are a professional in the field, you may also want to add your name to the online Professional Statement at www.FluorideAlert.org. As of April 2009, 2,221 medical and environmental health professionals have signed this statement, calling for an end to water fluoridation.
Join the Fight to Get Fluoride Out of Drinking Water
There's no doubt about it: fluoride should not be ingested. Even scientists from the EPA's National Health and Environmental Effects Research Laboratory have classified fluoride as a "chemical having substantial evidence of developmental neurotoxicity.” Furthermore, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 41 percent of American adolescents now have dental fluorosis—unattractive discoloration and mottling of the teeth that indicate overexposure to fluoride. Clearly, children are being overexposed, and their health and development put in jeopardy. Why?
At least when it comes to topical application, you have a choice. You can easily buy fluoride-free toothpaste and mouthwash. But you're stuck with whatever your community puts in the water, and it's very difficult to filter out of your water once it's added. Many do not have the resources or the knowledge to do so.
The only real solution is to stop the archaic practice of water fluoridation in the first place. Fortunately, the Fluoride Action Network has a game plan to END water fluoridation, both in the United States and Canada. Clean pure water is a prerequisite to optimal health. Industrial chemicals, drugs and other toxic additives really have no place in our water supplies. So, please, support the anti-fluoride movement by making a donation to the Fluoride Action Network today.