Here’s a shocking fact: The average tube of toothpaste has enough fluoride to kill a child. Yet fluoride is enthusiastically hailed in ads as a dental savior.
It is touted by legions of dentists and governmental agencies. But fluoride toothpaste must carry a poison warning and directions to seek medical attention if more than the recommended amount is ingested.
While fluoride is credited with helping prevent cavities — which can also kill through infection — the naturally occurring mineral is dividing the medical community and prompting governmental review of how much is too much.
More than half of the country’s community water supplies have added fluoride. But now, many experts are calling for a change, demanding that levels for fluoride in water supplies be lowered because of concern over fluorosis, a condition marked by white lines or spots on teeth caused by too much fluoride.
Almost half of U.S. adolescents have fluorosis. But the risks may reach much further than cosmetic mottling of tooth enamel.
David Brownstein, M.D., a board-certified family physician, points to water fluoridation as a likely source of serious illness.
“Fluoride poisons hundreds of enzymes in the body,” says Dr. Brownstein, author of the newsletter Natural Way to Health one of the nation’s foremost practitioners of holistic medicine.
“Fluoridation of the water supply is associated with an increase of certain cancers and causes thyroid problems.”
While critics of fluoride were once considered a fringe group, they are now finding themselves gaining a voice in mainstream medical circles.
A study by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency found that long-term high intake of fluoride can increase the risk of brittle bones, fractures, and bone abnormalities. Other studies have suggested that excessive levels of fluoride may be linked to neurotoxicity, hormone problems, and cancer.
Beyond the contentious debate over whether fluoride leads to serious health concerns is the fact that many people doubt whether fluoride even helps improve the cavity rate of adults.
“There are no studies that show that,” Dr. Brownstein tells Newsmax Health.
- Infants should not have formula made with fluoridated water.
- When possible, choose fresh food over processed food products, which often contain fluoride.
- Organic food is best, since it also protects you from exposure to sulfuryl fluoride, the most commonly used pesticide made with fluoride.
- Limit your intake of meat and dairy products from conventionally raised animals. They are often fed bone meal, which contains high levels of fluoride. Try to avoid mechanically deboned chicken, including nuggets and baby food, since the deboning process leaves fluoride from bones in the meat.
- If you use toothpaste with fluoride, thoroughly rinse your mouth afterwards. Monitor small children while they brush to make sure they don’t use too much toothpaste and that they don’t swallow it.