Thursday, October 9, 2014

Does Fluoride do More Harm Than Good?

I don’t want to alarm you, but – FLOURIDE IS NOT NECESSARILY A GOOD THING! Okay, for years I’ve kind of dismissed the crazy-hippie people who harp about the dangers of fluoride. Every now and again I’d catch a whiff of legitimacy to their arguments and I’d buy a tube or two of non-fluoridated toothpaste. But the kids grumbled about the taste of the natural toothpastes and after weighing the brushing-with-fluoride vs not-brushing-at-all dilemma, I’d throw a tube of Colgate in my cart.

When our doctor discovered we were on well-water, he immediately said we should fill a fluoride prescription for the kids. I filled the prescription, but the following week we visited the dentist. When I asked him if the kids should be on fluoride pills since we had well water, he rattled on about how there might be fluoride naturally occurring in our well water and the supplements weren’t critical. He didn’t say there was any danger in taking them, but he did say, “They probably don’t need to take them every day.” For the past ten years, he has been noncommittal, neither telling us to take them nor warning us against them. In fact, he never brings up fluoride pills unless I do. I think MDs have a phobia of contradicting each other. I never did give the kids those fluoride pills (and none of them have a cavity yet, (KNOCK ON WOOD).

But today I read a study from Harvard (HARVARD!) that says that yes, indeedy, fluoride has been identified as one of the neurotoxins that are causing the rise in autism, ADHD, dyslexia, and other cognitive disorders. Neurotoxins are chemicals that are dangerous to the developing brain. The Harvard study named twelve culprits. A few of the chemicals on the list seemed vaguely familiar, but FLOURIDE I know. If you want to read the summary in the Lancet, here it is.

My real question is this – if scientists are aware that fluoride is dangerous to a developing brain, WHY is it in every children’s toothpaste? Why do entire cities add it to their water supply? Shouldn’t someone put a STOP to this? I’m beginning to think this is one of those things like, not swimming for 30 minutes after you eat and not crossing your eyes because they’ll stay that way forever. We’ve been saying it so long it’s accepted as communal knowledge. Fluoride does protect teeth, but at what cost?

You know what else protects teeth? Not eating sugar! Not drinking soft drinks (have you seen what a coke does to corrosion on a car battery?)! Not chewing candy that sticks to your teeth like those lovely fruit chews that are marketed at kids! Oh, and how about brushing your teeth (with or without fluoride) for a full 2 minutes in the morning and evening? Just a thought.

Fluoride naturally occurs in ground water in trace amounts (more in some areas, less in others), but what can you do if you’re on city water that has fluoride added by the powers that be that won’t listen to a hysterical mom calling to beg them to STOP THAT? I suppose that bottled water might be the answer until you read about the newly discovered dangers of bottled water which might be worse than fluoride for your health. (You know there’s an upcoming blog post headed your way on this topic!) The only other solution is to install a Reverse osmosis water filtration system. It’s the only system that removes most of the fluoride found (or added) in drinking water. Those systems cost A LOT!
 Once again I feel like the general public is being held hostage by a slow moving archaic government that ignores scientific evidence. I imagine that fifty years from now people will scoff at our collective ignorance – “Can you believe they actually added it to their drinking water?” in much the same way as we now talk about the common use of cigarettes, margarine, and leaving your dog poop where it lies. UGH. Wish I had an answer for you. I guess it’s time to get behind those hippies.

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