What’s lurking in my toothpaste?

What’s lurking in my toothpaste?

Toothpaste is used daily and in (sometimes) generous amounts.  While fluoridated toothpaste may have some value topically, the fact that much of it is swallowed during use is what poses a danger to your health.  This is because the fluoride used in such products is sodium fluoride (a by-product of, primarily, the phosphate fertilizer industry).

False information

We’ve all been led to believe fluoride is good for maintaining healthy teeth, but this just isn’t the truth at all.  Data compiled by the World Health Organisation shows absolutely no difference in tooth decay in countries that use fluoridated water compared with countries that don’t.  In mid 2007 even the American Dental Association (a long-time proponents of fluoride) reversed its position.  It now advises dentists against giving babies fluoride because of its adverse effect on bone growth.

The dangers

The following is a list of the ways in which fluoride can affect you and your family and is taken from the book Take Control of your Life by Dr Joseph Mercola and Dr Kendra Pearsall:

  • Fluoride accumulates in your bones, making them brittle and more easily fractured.
  • Fluoride accumulates in your Pineal gland, which may inhibit the production of the hormone melatonin. Melatonin helps regulate the onset of puberty.
  • Fluoride damages tooth enamel (known as dental fluorosis) and may lower fertility rates.
  • Fluoride has been found to increase the uptake of aluminium into your brain and lead into blood.
  • Fluoride inhibits antibodies from forming in your blood.
  • Fluoride confuses the immune system, causing it to attack the tissues in your body. This can increase the growth rate of tumours in people prone to cancer.

There are plenty of natural alternatives on offer.  Some come in commercial form and are available at most good health stores.

Make your own

For the more adventurous, you can make your own:

5 teaspoons food-grade bicarbonate of soda

2 teaspoons Himalayan salt

1-2 drops Oragano oil

Mix with water into a paste and use on your brush

In place of commercial mouthwash, a good antiseptic alternative is gargling with salt water.  If bad breath is the problem, it’s very likely to be coming from the gut (not the mouth).  Focus on what you’re eating and drinking in order to deal with this problem.

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Tanya Wyatt

Tanya has written regularly for various national health and fitness magazines like Men’s Health, Cosmopolitan, Marie-Claire and Shape (she also served on Shape’s advisory board), as well as for SA  newspaper publications.

In 2003, Tanya wrote two internationally released health and fitness books.

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