Here’s a controversial topic: should fluoride continue to be added to our public water supplies?
Proponents claim that fluoride helps to lessen the incidence of tooth decay, especially in our children. Opponents claim that fluoride is a poison that causes more harm than good.
In this article we’ll take a look at the potential problems with fluoride, and what you can do to minimize your risk.
Even the US government is acknowledging that some adjustments need to be made in the fluoride levels of our water supplies, marking the first change since 1962. In fact, the Department of Health and Human Services is calling for a near halving of the percentage of fluoride additives. (Click here to see a related article.) This is in response to an appalling statistic: nearly half of children between the ages of 12 to 15 suffer from dental fluorosis, a condition in which teeth rot from the inside out. (The “sanitized” version of this condition is that streaks are cause in the teeth.) And where there’s smoke, there’s fire. If fluoride is responsible for this dental condition, what is it doing to other parts of our body? Studies have shown that fluoride is also linked to lower IQ and ADHD. And if fluoride is causing these problems in our young people, surely its impact upon health can’t be good for other ages.
So what can you do to minimize the risk of fluoride? Actually, there are two easy steps you can take.
One is to use a fluoride-free toothpaste. There are several brands that make fluoride-free toothpaste, and I’ve been able to find them at common stores such as Target and Giant Eagle (and of course they are readily available at health stores).
Tom’s of Maine makes one such fluoride-free toothpaste, and it has the added benefit of containing no artificial dyes, sweeteners, or flavors. Xylitol, one of its ingredients, is a natural sweetener that doesn’t have the negative health effects associated with artificial sweeteners.
Another step to take is to use a water filter to remove the fluoride in your water supply–but not just any filter will do the trick. For instance, a BRITA filter (what I’ve been using!) does NOT remove fluoride, according to the BRITA website.
Reverse osmosis is generally considered to be the best way to remove fluoride; this 5-Stage Home Drinking Reverse Osmosis System has a predominantly 5-star rating on Amazon, with 73 reviews. It is reasonably priced as well, at under $140. (In reverse osmosis, pressure difference across a membrane is used to separate a solvent-solute mixture.)
A key principle in maintaining excellent health is to remove or avoid toxins in our body. The more we can avoid toxins in the first place, the less stress we place upon our body in dealing with these toxins. Removing fluoride from your water supply and using a fluoride-free toothpaste are easy solutions to doing just that.
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