From the day we get our first toothbrush, we are told by our parents and professionals that fluoride is the only way to take good care of your teeth.
However, in recent years’ some research has pointed to the possible harmful effects of fluoride and a growing number of people are worried about their health. The problem is that most of us don’t understand what fluoride is or why it is added to our water and toothpastes, let alone how to choose a life without it.
We at Georganics believe it is possible to take great care of your teeth using natural, organic ingredients; instead of fluoride or any of the other synthetic nasties that are found in many mainstream products.
So here we are to decode some of the talk around fluoride and your health.
What is Fluoride?
Well, that depends on who you ask. According to the NHS website it is a “naturally occurring mineral found in water”, with varying levels depending on where you live. This natural mineral is also a great tool in protecting against tooth decay, a major health concern worldwide and so is often added to dental products and drinking water too. This is completely true.
Sounds harmless enough, right?
Unfortunately, what the description above is failing to point out is that although fluoride does occur naturally in water, it is in such low quantities it would contribute little if at all to the health of our mouths. If you look a little beyond this simple description of fluoride- a chemical most of us ingest daily- you will find it’s less innocent side.
In fact, the fluoride that is added to our toothpaste and drinking water does not come from its natural mineral form. It is replaced by one of three industrial options; Sodium Fluoride, Sodium Fluorosilicate or Fluorosilicic Acid which is phosphate fertilizer by-product.
Much less appealing huh?
What does it do?
Fluoride is widely believed to be a great tool in protecting against tooth decay, a major health concern worldwide, and so is often added to toothpaste and drinking water.
Preventing tooth decay is all about remineralization. Fluoride is considered to assist this process through leaving a thin layer on the teeth to be absorbed, replacing the minerals with a harder, more bacteria resistant material than was lost.
However, as Fluoride is also used- in more concentrated doses- as an insecticide and is known to be poisonous to humans too, the long-term use of fluoridated water and products can unsurprisingly lead to health problems.
A 2012 report conducted by Harvard School of Public Health, combining 27 studies into the damaging effects of the chemical, found that fluoride is liable to affect development in the brain function of children. Studies as far back as one undertaken by PJ Mullenix in 1995 also found links to the toxic effects of fluoride on the brains and kidneys of rats. The worrying thing about this for humans is that the same study also found that rats are more resistant to fluoride than us.
These are just a couple of examples but, depending on what you read, the list of ill effects can be much, much longer!
That definitely doesn’t sound like good news for the rest of our bodies. But let’s get back to teeth! Over use of fluoride in childhood is widely acknowledge by the medical community to cause dental fluorosis and gum damage, as fluoride prevents enzymes and slows down the repair of gums.
What do we do?
Whilst fluoridated water has reduced tooth decay since its introduction, tooth decay in countries which don’t use fluoridated water has also dropped throwing a lot of pro-fluoride research into question. In fact, there are many countries worldwide who choose not to fluoridate on moral and medical grounds such as Germany, France and Denmark.
It has also been pointed out by scientists in a report written by the Cochrane Collaboration in 2015, that the majority of the studies conducted into the benefits of fluoride were carried out before 1975, many of which were scientifically flawed, and of course could not take into account the widespread use of fluoride toothpastes and rinses used later on.
With all the controversy surrounding fluoride, to us the solution seems clear. Let’s find a safe, natural alternative to prevent tooth decay!
There are many chemical free ways to clean and re-mineralise your teeth through diet and a natural oral care routine. Providing you with the tools to achieve this is what Georganics is all about.