This blog chronicles my life as I try to balance healthy lifestyle habits with my husband's penchant for pizza rolls and my daughter's desire to watch iCarly 8 hours a day. It contains a mostly humorous, kind, and somewhat spiritual look at everyday life and the people who live it.

Friday, February 19, 2010

My toothpaste is controlling my mind...

Bad guy: "Sorry officer, but I just had a big glass of water and so my judgement was really impaired!"

Mom: "Son, go brush your teeth, then go get a job!"
Son: "Okay Mom, but once I brush my teeth I'll have no motivation and will lack the mental faculties to handle basic decision making."

On this very blog I frequently promote ingesting one of the most toxic and damaging chemicals found in our world today.  I can't help it, it's essential to life, will clear your skin, heal your headaches, and without it you are probably going to die within 3-5 days.

I promote drinking water.

But is there fluoride in your drinking water?  In your toothpaste?  In your canned soup?  In every product that has 'water' listed as an ingredient?  If I was asked to estimate my vitamin C intake I could do a pretty good job.  If asked to estimate my sugar intake I could come within a gram or two of my daily consumption.  If asked to estimate my fluoride intake I wouldn't have any idea.  Was the water in my shampoo fluoridated?  Was the water used to wash my 'washed and ready to eat' salad fluoridated?  How can I quantify my exposure to a toxin that is put directly into the drinking water in most places in the United States, added to my toothpaste, and has been approved as a pesticide in organic farming!

This is the scoop on fluoride: the Germans  used fluoride during World War II when they placed it in the drinking water of their prisoners of war because fluoride made the prisoners so docile.  Now there are different types of fluoride.  Pharmaceutical grade fluoride is what appears in our toothpastes.  This type of fluoride does have a good track record in reducing tooth decay when applied topically to the teeth.  There is no evidence that fluoride taken internally does anything but harm the body.  Another type of fluoride is what is put into the drinking water.  You don't really want to know where this comes from, but I'll tell you anyway so sit down because this is going to be gross: the fluoride in our drinking water is a by-product of pesticide manufacturing.  They scrape the fluoride "sludge" from the inside of the smokestacks and truck it to the nearest water treatment plant where they dump that sludge right on in and call it public health practices.  I kid you not, you can look it up here (type fluoride in the search bar).

So here are my suggestions: I try to limit my exposure to fluoride on a couple of levels.  First I am lucky because my part of Massachusetts does not have fluoride in the water.  I have a fluoridated toothpaste and a toothpaste without fluoride and I alternate between the two.  I like the Tom's of Maine mint toothpaste without fluoride and the Burt's Bees toothpaste with fluoride. In both cases you get good taste without high fructose corn syrup and/or silica which is in a lot of other toothpastes.  I take Calcium and Magnesium supplements to counter the effects of fluoride in my body.  I don't use fluoride rinses or allow the dentist to give them to my daughter.  I buy vitamins that do not contain a fluoride supplement (many do, you have to read the ingredients). 

There are filters you can buy that filter the fluoride out of drinking water.  There are letters you can write to city officials petitioning to get the fluoride out of your city's drinking water.  There are panic attacks you can have wondering what all this fluoride is doing to your body.  You could mix up your own batch of baking soda and salt with a little peppermint extract thrown in for flavor.  I think the most important thing is to be aware of what fluoride is and how it may be affecting you.  Baby steps, always baby steps.

And if you're ever in Massachusetts, stop by!  I'll give you a glass of filtered, refreshing, unfluoridated water.  I'll even throw in an organic lemon so you can lose a few pounds...but that's another post...


karen@fitnessjourney said...

I remember giving my kids fluoride drops when they were babies.

Beth said...

I know Karen, a lot of people still give their children fluoride supplements. My daughter's pediatrician recommended them for when I was still breastfeeding but my husband didn't think they were necessary.

Fluoride...leeches...bleeding people...sometimes modern medicine isn't so modern.

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Anonymous said...

I'm so proud we have reverse ossmosis water after reading this post. Woooohoooo.....thanks.

Beth said...

Anonymous, I'm glad you have reverse osmosis water too. Your filtration system is getting rid of a lot of stuff, some of it even worse, though not as insidious, as fluoride. Good for you!

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