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I know, fluoride is required for healthy teeth, right? You should brush your teeth with a ‘good’ fluoride toothpaste twice a day they say. Well, not me. I threw out my toothpaste some years ago after fluoride made it to my ‘nope’ list. Never bought or used it since. Swapping the tube for an empty glass cockle jar I changed the way I brushed my teeth. And do you know something?
My teeth are not missing fluoride at all and they’re getting on great without it. Yours can too. There’s good reason to go fluoride free which I’m going to share with you if you don’t already know. By the end of this post you’ll see going fluoride free is really easy. It’ll save money, reduce waste and is better for you. What’s not to love?
Why do you brush your teeth with fluoride, really?
This is a rather intriguing tale. In the 1930s the largest producer of aluminum at the time was Acola. The folks down at Acola were creating vast amounts toxic fluoride gas. The vapors were paralyzing and killed nearby farm animals exposed to it and ruining crops. Lawsuits were mounting as farmers sued Acola for their losses. Concerns were also growing over the negative impact of fluoride gas on human health. With the high cost of toxic waste disposal, a plan to recycle this dangerous byproduct was hatched. Acola enlisted the help of Gerald Cox, a Mellon Institute researcher in Pittsburgh. Gerald’s assignment? To research the effects of fluoride on teeth.
Wait. What?? Why would anyone want to put this crap on their teeth?!
Well, Mellon Institute had done a great job convincing everyone asbestos was perfectly safe (I hear it is not so safe nowadays though…). So they qualified for the job of convincing folks toxic waste was good for their teeth. Apparently, they did a cracking job because this crazy idea was adopted. By 1945 Fluoride byproduct was barrelled up and sold for profit to companies who put in the public water supply, processed food and toothpaste under the guise of ‘to protecting your teeth from decay’.
Acola had solved their waste disposal problems and the lawsuits dwindled as a result. Concerns over fluoride and human health were buried for the most part.
Oddly enough, fluoride is banned from the use in water supplies in many countries because it’s considered poison but that’s another story for another day. The point is; how can poison be good for your dental health?
Toothpaste should come with a warning like it does in the US
Yep, you read that correctly. Toothpaste comes with a warning in the US. The FDA requires all toothpastes with fluoride to carry a poison warning. Um… Hello? Why are we still buying this rubbish, it’s poison?! I always remember my mother saying:
“Only use a pea size! Don’t swallow your toothpaste. It’s bad for you” Despite being quite a huge understatement, she never did explain why. Perhaps she wasn’t aware.
A pea size of poison doesn’t make it any less of a poison. Let’s look at some fun facts about fluoride. When you’ve read them consider if it is logical to put fluoride in your mouth. I’ve a sneaky suspicion you’ll never look at toothpaste the same way again.
Fluoride causes or is associated with (this is not an exhaustive list):
- Reduces IQ
- High blood pressure
- Joint pain
- Fluoridosis of teeth and bones
- Arterial calcification
- Nervous system damage
- Thyroid dysfunction
- Immune system damage
- Genetic mutations
- Heart failure
Fluoride doesn’t sound like it’s doing us any favours at all. The very thing fluoride is said to protect is suffering. Our teeth. In fact, there is a complete lack of evidence that fluoride does anything good for dental health at all. To top it all off those risks are from just ONE ingredient in toothpaste. Toothpaste is packed with questionable ingredients like sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), among other things we’d be better off not ingesting.
Here’s an interesting fact; fluoride happens to be the main ingredient in anti-depressant drug Fluoxetine (Prozac) as well as various other psychiatric drugs. Eyebrow raising stuff to say the least. Fluoride just has so many negatives. For me, the risks outweigh the non existent benefits.
This is why Fluoride makes the ‘nope’ list.
Make your own toothpaste, it’s so easy!
Getting fluoride out of the equation doesn’t have to be difficult. I’ve been making my own toothpaste for a good few years now. It takes less than 10 minutes each month and the children will enjoy mixing it up. The ingredients aren’t obscure or hard to lay your hands on. It’s likely you’ve already got the ingredients in your pantry. This concoction hasn’t failed me yet and my teeth are happy. I’m almost 30 and not so much as a filling – ever! Hubby even likes this toothpaste and he’s noticed a difference in his oral health as did his dentist! It’s a sprog tested and approved mixture although perhaps not suited to babies.
Homemade Minty Toothpaste
- 6 tbsp raw organic coconut oil (I buy mine here)
- 6 tbsp bicarbonate of soda
- 5-10 drops peppermint essential oil (depending on the level of minty freshness you want)
- Combine coconut oil and bicarb mix until smooth.
- Add peppermint essential oil and mix again to combine.
- Store in a glass jar (I reuse a cockles jar and this holds this amount perfectly and lasts about 4 weeks before it is all gone!)
Voilà! Homemade toothpaste in minutes and not a neurotoxin in sight! Simply pop a little on your bamboo toothbrush and brush as usual. Try clove essential oil instead of peppermint if you’re battling toothache.
This toothpaste can take a little getting used to but it is well worth the effort. Your body will thank you for it. It will not foam as it does contain foaming agents like SLS. Don’t be disheartened, bubbles don’t mean clean. Trust your teeth to give you appropriate feedback. They’ll be clean and whiter in no time.
Reuse and recycle your toothpaste jar for another batch. Zero waste and no leeching plastics. Yay!
Essential oils and ingestion
There’s mixed opinions about ingesting essential oils. Personally, I’ve not experienced problems with essential oils in my toothpaste. I’d rather ingest oils steam distilled from a plant than toxic waste any day of the week. That said you can always opt to leave the essential oils out altogether. The toothpaste will still be effective. If you do decide to use essential oils in your mix it’s advisable to use good quality oil preferably organic. The best advice is to do your due diligence and decide what’s right for you.
For young children raw organic coconut oil alone works just fine. This an amazing solution for us because my son enjoys munching coconut oil so getting it in his mouth is a breeze!
Go fluoride free!
Fluoride warrants immediate kicking to the curb. It has no place in your bathroom cabinet and no benefit to health, teeth or otherwise. You certainly don’t need to spend money on this stuff. It’s rubbish after all, get rid and make your own instead. It’s easy and extremely cost effective. Waste is minimal too! Brownie points for the eco warrior in you! Best of all, you’ll be taking care of your health, your ultimate wealth. Can’t make your own? Buy fluoride free, just be sure to check the ingredients. In any case you’re sure to spend less time at the dentist. And if you do need a dentist opt for a holistic one who’s not into mercury.
Ready to ditch and switch? Which fluoride free toothpaste do you love? How are you getting on with homemade? Have a question or comment? Let me know and leave it below.