There are pros and cons to the introduction of fluoride to drinking water and oral care products.
In favor of fluoride are the studies supported by Dental Associations indicating that fluoride prevents dental cavities.
In opposition to fluoride are the Independent Studies that indicate there are some worrying side effects.
- The studies that launched fluoridation were methodologically flawed as shown in our previous blog – Olgani on the Fluoride Controversy-Part 1
- Not an essential nutrient
- Accumulates in the body
- The dose cannot be controlled
- Tooth decay does not go up when fluoridation is stopped
- Children are being over-exposed to fluoride
- Dental fluorosis (staining and pitting of teeth)
- Bone fractures
- Hyperactivity and/or lethargy
- Thyroid disease and lowered thyroid function
- May damage the brain
- May lower IQ
- May cause non-IQ neurotoxic effects
- Affects the pineal gland
Is fluoride the only option for preventing cavities?
Fluoride was added to drinking water and oral care products during the late 1950s, which is only around 60 years ago.
Reviewing how we maintained our oral health before the addition of fluoride and whether these methods were effective could shed light on this demanding question.
Let us look at some of the fluoride-free, oral hygiene practices that have been used effectively for centuries, up until today.
Traditional Indian medicine (Ayurveda) relied on their ability to improve internal defense systems rather than eliminate external influences, placing considerable importance on a holistic approach, with emphasis on self-care and lifestyle management.
Scientific evidence suggests that oil pulling therapy may reduce the total oral bacterial count and reduce plaque and gingival scores. Furthermore, it has also shown to diminish the susceptibility to dental cavities.
Miswak is basically a pencil-sized stick around 20 cm long from Arak (Salvadora persica) or the Toothbrush tree. A large number of studies have proven that miswak is as effective as, or even superior to, the present day′s most common oral hygiene aid, the toothbrush.
Miswak consists of:
- Silica – abrasive material
- Sodium bicarbonate – germicidal effect.
- Tannic acid – anti-plaque and anti-gingivitis
- Resins – form a layer over the enamel protecting it from microbial action.
- Alkaloids – stimulate the gingiva.
- Essential oils – stimulate the flow of saliva.
- Vitamin C – helps in healing and repair.
- Calcium – promote remineralization of tooth structure
Green tea, which is customarily drunk after every meal in Japan, contains several polyphenols that are known to inhibit the growth of S. Mutans, the primary organism responsible for dental cavities.
Scientific findings confirm the effectiveness of traditional methods of oral care before the introduction of fluoride.
To further broaden the spectrum of oral health care approaches, ongoing research into the human microbiome point towards a whole food diet which supports a balance in the oral microbiota, a prerequisite to excellent oral health.
In Part 3 of, Olgani on the Fluoride Controversy, we will show the influence of a whole food diet and a healthy microbiome on the condition of your teeth and gums.
Keep a lookout …..