Dominica Passport | Caribbean Recipes | Dominica Photos | Classified Ads | Search Jobs | Advertise here!

Dominica News Weekly

Dominica News And From Around The Caribbean

Like those Dominicans my age, I grew up with a positive association to fluoride. There were all types of toothpaste commercials stating the importance of fluoride and how it helps to prevent tooth decay. While at pre-school and primary school I can remember my teachers handing out fluoride treatments to all the kids. Fluoride was also added to public water supplies, so drinking from the tap gave me a daily dose of fluoride too. Like everybody else, I assumed that fluoride must be healthy. I mean, why people would add it to toothpaste and drinking water.

Recently, I started hearing rumors about fluoride being potentially unhealthy. Then it stuck me that I’d never looked into fluoride and clearly didn’t really know what it was and why I should be consuming it the first place. I have to admit that I was totally ignorant on the subject, all my knowledge of fluoride came from people who were marketing it. People market plenty of other products that aren’t healthy (cigarette, Alcohol, Junk Food, etc), so why should I assume fluoride was any better just because some people said it was?

What is fluoride?

Fluoride is a naturally occurring substance found abundantly in the earth’s crust. Consequently, it is found in natural water supplies, usually in very low levels (well below 1 part per million). Plants naturally absorb fluoride from the soil, so small amounts of fluoride compounds are present in all our food. Fluoride is also commonly used in pesticides, so plant foods grown with pesticides will have a higher concentration of fluoride.

Fluoride highest dietary concentration occurs in animal foods and in processed foods, especially fish. Animals’ tissues builds up with fluoride content and whenever fluoridated water is used in food production, the final product will be concentrated with fluoride.

Fluoride is highly toxic to human beings than lead, although it is a natural substance. If you were to ingest 2-5 grams of sodium fluoride which is the ingredient in toothpaste, you would probably die. A typical tube of fluoride toothpaste contains sufficient amounts to fluoride to kill a small child if were consumed all at once.

Is fluoride necessary for health?
Not Really. Fluoride is not an essential nutrient for you body, unlike calcium or magnesium. If you were to have zero intake of fluoride your entire life, you wouldn’t suffer for it. There’s no such thing as a fluoride deficiency.

What is fluoride’s purported role in tooth decay?

“Fluoride inhibits enzymes that breed acid-producing oral bacteria whose acid eats away tooth enamel. This observation is valid, but some scientists now believe that the harmful impact of fluoride on other useful enzymes far outweighs the beneficial effect on caries prevention.”
– UNICEF, Dec 1999

Unfortunately, because fluoride is so toxic, you’re taking a big risk by using it to try to prevent cavities. You not only poison the bacteria in your mouth but you’re poisoning other cells as well.

If really want to know why people start adding fluoride to toothpaste and water – really you don’t. But if you do you can start by reading these articles:
Industry and Fluoridation
Fluoride, Teeth, and the Atomic Bomb
Suppression of Scientific Dissent on Fluoride’s Risk and Benefits

If you chose not to read articles above, the bottom line is that fluoride is an industrial pollutant, which one time or another entered every home on this planet. These days it’s become such a difficult issue that involves corporate business deals, huge sums of money, the FDA, and somewhere along this is line near the bottom of the political chain … is health

Share this Dominica article with your friends:

Facebook Twitter Google Buzz Google Bookmarks Digg Reddit delicious Technorati Slashdot Yahoo My Web

If you enjoyed this post, make sure you subscribe to our RSS feed!

Related Post

  • No related posts

RSS feed | Trackback URI


Comment by Dan
2007-10-14 02:48:19

I think this article might be a bit hasty. See what Wikipedia (which is publicly edited) has to say:

Many products that people use are quite poisonous. It would take very little nicotine to kill a man, and many industrial pesticides have nicotine sulfate as the active ingredient.

Or consider chlorine, a member of the same chemical family as iodine, bromine and fluorine. As a gas it is the poisonous mustard gas, and in combination with hydrogen it is hydrochloric acid. But we use it as bleach and to make water safe to drink.

Iodine is poisonous but is a good antiseptic (though it stings) and without it in your diet you would develop thyroid problems with quite dramatic results.

Chlorine combined with sodium (a light metal that explodes in contact with water) makes NaCl — common salt. Try living without that! But don’t try drinking salt sea water.

Ever since the US started to fluoridate water back in the 1950’s the political right wing began to attack fluoridation as a communist plot (which was satirized well in the classic film “Doctor Strangelove”); bottom line, most opponents have a political, not a scientific, argument against it. To any thinking person, dogma can’t beat facts, but there are a lot of unthinking people out there.

Considering that something as “simple” as a tooth cavity can lead to an infected tooth, which can in extreme cases be fatal (as can any infection left untreated), I think that fluoridation is probably not a bad thing. But if you use fluoridated toothpaste with small children, you must be sure they rinse ans spit, and do not swallow.

Comment by WARCHILD
2007-10-20 21:12:26


Comment by Dan
2007-10-24 19:51:19

I’m not taking issue with the reply above, nor do I wish to engage in further discussion, having already spoken my piece, but I am only asking “Warchild” whether his posting is in support of the original article or of my posting about it, because that is unclear to me. Thanks. ❓

Name (required)
E-mail (required - never shown publicly)
Your Comment (smaller size | larger size)
You may use <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong> in your comment.

Trackback responses to this post

Business Key Top Sites