In this article you will learn:
Why fluoride is not your friend
How you can mitigate your exposure through lifestyle and product choices
Recall the last time you got numb at the dentist. These are probably memories you try to forget, but give it a whirl. Put yourself back in that chair, shine the lights in your eyes and feel that saucy little pinch in the side of your gum or cheek as the dentist slowly works the needle in. As you sit there patiently waiting for the inevitable fun part to come, notice how your heart starts to race for a few seconds as if you just had a mini panic attack or burst of caffeine. What just happened?
This is because of an adjuvant in the anesthetic called epinephrine, and it’s designed to be a vasodilator so that the numbing agent can do its job. Another name for it is adrenaline, and a similar thing happens when you use a sublingual B12 vitamin or any similar supplement that’s designed to give you a boost of energy. Why? Because you do not have to swallow something for it to enter your bloodstream.
Your mouth, skin, eyes and basically every surface of your body is full of capillaries and
receptors for information.
When I was in my early 20’s, I spent a ridiculous amount of money on a laser hair removal program so that I could have a shiny chest for dance competitions without the
burden of shaving. Don’t judge me, I was young and dumb. After the first visit the lasering was so fucking painful that, instead of getting the wakeup call that my ego had gone overboard, I ordered a topical numbing cream to make the process easier.
Unfortunately, what I didn’t realize is that if you put too much of that shit on you can actually stop your heart. No kidding. People have legitimately died from using numbing cream for cosmetic reasons. Call it evolution, but I’m glad I wasn’t that dumb. You see, the chemical mechanisms that interrupt your nerves from firing pain signals are actually the same kind that allow your natural pacemaker (your heart) to do its thing.
The active ingredients in this numbing cream sink into your capillaries and veins through your skin and the container had a warning not to put it on more than 25% of the surface area of your body at any given time. I like to play with fire, so I generously put it
all over my chest and abdomen before the second visit to the laser office. When my heart started palpitating from the arrhythmia this caused and skipping beats like
some syncopated jazz solo, I finally began to question my motives for spending thousands of dollars to get rid of some unoffensive chest hair. It was a needless and stupid mistake on my part, but I thankfully recovered without any complications.
Sadly, there are a dozen other similar examples in my life that have taught me simple lessons with much greater price tags than I probably needed to pay.
Nevertheless, the relevance of everything I’ve shared with you is that your body is not isolated from the environment. Chemicals can enter your bloodstream in all manner of ways, and when it comes to your oral health there is one in particular that you have to mitigate as much as possible. Its name is fluoride, and by now you are probably a little familiar with its nasty reputation.
Fluoride is a toxic substance and deserves several preventative measures if you want to live in optimal health. For starters, fluoride is a known neurotoxin, disrupts enzymatic activity in your body and replaces iodine in thyroid reactions. Countless studies have come out that have implicated fluoride with a host of serious chronic diseases like cancer, dementia, immune problems, bone fractures and muscle disorders.
These deleterious effects are especially implicated in children, who are still developing their bodies and brains.(1,2,3,4,5)
Regardless of what anyone will tell you, there is no biological role for fluoride in the body and it is not an inert substance either because it facilitates many negative chemical consequences. It is a poison and something you need to actively avoid.
Interestingly, this has been known for 100 years,(6) but if you've followed my work or podcast you know how things go when it comes to health, politics, lobbying and
policy. I will spare you fluoride’s contentious history of being re-branded from an industrial post-World War II toxin to a “safe and beneficial compound” necessary for fighting tooth decay because the story is a long one.
What’s more important is the data.
Besides the mountains of research discussing its plethora of dangers, there are also numerous studies around the world that have documented a decrease in tooth decay when fluoridation was stopped.(7,8,9,10,11,12) Read that part again.
Fluoride’s “safe” limit has also been reduced several times over the last few decades, thanks to a multitude of activist groups fighting for change, but it is ubiquitous in the food and water supply just like bromide. Also, you have to realize that the problem with setting a “safe” limit for a poison is that, unless your limit is zero, it is impossible to accommodate for everyone and reliably keep your population safe from harm with some arbitrary tolerable limit.
The reason for this is that there are simply too many variables that confound the problem of exposure. Children have a much smaller body mass for example, and everyone has different habits when it comes to how much tap water they drink, how much processed food they eat, how many fluoridated products they use and so on. Allowing this poison in all aspects of society through “safe” limits results in a multitude of sources utilizing it, which is evident in its ubiquitous nature in our food, water, air and homecare products.
What is the sum total of all of these exposures and how do you account for these various lifestyles and considerations with a “safe” limit?
The answer is that you don’t, and until policy totally aligns with science instead of corporate greed, it is up to you and I to be smart and reduce our exposure as much as possible. As of today, there is no cool laser device that you can point at your food or personal care items and get a complete idea of how much fluoride and other crap is in there.
The Trekkie in me can’t wait for such thing, but until that time we have good habits, taking boron (since it removes fluoride from the body), the 24-hour urine iodine loading test along with iodine therapy and advocacy groups like the Fluoride Advocacy Network to keep ourselves protected.
The key that I want you to get from all of this is that fluoride is not your friend. If it were the only absolute way to prevent cavities, then we would have to re-evaluate our lives. Thank goodness Nature never works in one-way absolutes. There are always a million ways to do something, and anyone selling you the absolute single way is either
trying to hide something or distract you for their own financial gain.
In the realm of dental care, fluoride’s risks far outweigh the benefits of supposedly more resistant teeth. While research has shown that teeth become slightly more resistant to cavities, this is again another age-old issue of Germ or Terrain. The cause of cavities are not the germs, they are an acidic and broken Terrain that lets the bad germs get out of control. Fluoride is a band-aid on the real problem and it is impossible to use without poisoning yourself because everything gets absorbed into your body to some degree when you come into contact with it (especially in your mouth for crying out loud).
Combined with the other common sources of fluoride that we will discuss soon, its cumulative effects pose a definitive risk to your long-term health.
Another thing to consider is that your teeth are designed in a very intelligent way, just the way they are. We, as humans, have a habit of looking at a problem and ignoring 99 out of the 100 factors that are creating it. And when we do come up with a solution, based on that 1 factor we considered, we crown ourselves kings of the world. Just because fluoride hardens your teeth it doesn’t mean that super hard teeth are actually a good thing, as this can lead to a potential for fractures and other problems.
At a microscopic level, your teeth are complex, beautiful crystals that actually breathe.
They are alive and dynamic structures, not some natural plastic that Nature came up with as a placeholder so you can chew your food. Everything that is alive needs to move, this principle is universal. If your teeth become too hard and brittle, this is a sure
way towards more problems and accidents. Even the popular whitening products that are out there inflame your poor teeth and cause more harm in the long run because they do not respect this delicate structure.(13)
Fluoride may harden your teeth, but it does so at a big price, and over time, that
price extends to the rest of your bones which can have considerable impacts on many areas of your health. In my article on boron I discuss studies in China and how they had to use hundreds of milligrams of boron to reduce their symptoms of skeletal fluorosis. Not a fun thing, but the point is to never get there in the first place.
Besides maintaining a healthy diet and saliva, there are a few great products that you can use on a regular basis to help your teeth strengthen their enamel and keep bacteria at bay naturally without the burden of fluoride. For a comprehensive guide to oral care, see this article.
For now, remember that our obsession with killing germs with chemicals will never lead to long-term health. Interestingly, the breakdown of these bad bacteria in the mouth can lead to even more problems because of toxic components in their cell walls called peptidoglycans and lipopolysaccharides.(14,15)
What all this means is that if you have an unhealthy body and unhealthy oral habits, you have cultivated a village of little landmines in your mouth that are just waiting to explode. Yum. The worst part is that all of that snazzy mouthwash will only add more fluoride, and even if it’s fluoride free it will lead to more inflammation in your gums and tissues in the long run by popping these bad actors and spilling their toxic guts all throughout your mouth. Isn’t evolution awesome?
In the end, it all comes back to the same principles: solve the problem indirectly by controlling the Terrain and you will let the intelligence of the system as a whole do its job without collateral damage. What that means in terms of your mouth is supporting the microbiome and environment to be as least hospitable to the bad guys as possible.
Use natural products, maintain a healthy diet and complete nutrition program according to the principles given to you in this book and reduce your exposure to fluoride because it has questionable benefits on your teeth at the price of longterm health and vitality.
Below are some simple habits to adopt to reduce your exposure to fluoride.
How to Reduce Your Exposure to Fluoride
1. Install high-quality filters for your drinking water and your shower that remove fluoride. Remember that what gets on your skin also absorbs into your body, so showering can be a common source of exposure especially if you have high fluoride in your area. You may want to invest in a simple water testing kit to see if these interventions work, or to see what your baseline is. In either case, filters are a simple way to immediately remove some of the common sources for chronic fluoride exposure.
2. Use natural dental products and find a holistic dentist that uses alternative methods
besides fluoride. The specifics for both of these will be laid out in a future chapter, but
rest assured that there are very effective, natural and research-based ways to support
all of your oral health goals without the use of this poison.
3. Try to eat organic whenever possible and minimize your processed food.
Unfortunately, fluoride is in everything from animal feed, antibiotics used on animals,
to fumigating common foods with dangerous fluoride-based pesticides and
disinfectants. Chicken has the highest source of fluoride (in the bones), so low-quality
mechanically de-boned chicken is something to avoid because of extra bone
fragments that contaminate the meat. These things are intuitive if you follow the
guidelines in your diet and nutrition chapters, but just another reason to avoid shitty
quality food in general.
4. Be careful of wine and grape juice as these have been measured to have higher
amounts of fluoride. Always buy organic or from Europe as they have higher
regulatory standards. Tea should also be on your radar because it absorbs fluoride
similar to how rice absorbs arsenic. The older the tea leaves are, the more fluoride
and therefore the less benefits.(16) Cheap tea brands like Lipton bags, or ice tea type
drinks from the gas station are all going to probably have more fluoride than young
tea leaves because they use older plants. This is alongside all of the sugar that’s also
present in these types of drinks which also destroys your oral health. Opt instead for
white tea or yerba matte, as both of these are great options with little to no fluoride in
5. Avoid cooking with non-stick pans, as these have been implicated with increased
fluoride ingestion.(17) Opt for ceramic, NP2, Thermolon or stainless steel and always
splurge on quality. Cook on low heat for the least likelihood of leaching.
6. Avoid fluorinated drugs and medicines like Cipro, the antibiotic. This is in a class of
drugs called fluoroquinolones and they should be avoided unless they are the only
option besides Death. There are other fluoride-based drugs out there and you will
have to do your research to find a replacement or speak to your functional medicine
doctor (which wouldn’t be putting you on this crazy shit anyway) about the
7. If you find this issue meaningful, get involved with Fluoridation Action Network and
their activism to reverse the decades of damage that fluoridation and fluoride use has
caused on our health at large, especially the health of children. Get informed, as there
are dozens of reasons beyond the cursory review in this chapter why fluoride is a
serious threat to your long-term health.(18) The world is changing and so are old
perspectives, and F.A.N. is leading the way in the arena of fluoride. It’s a great way to
get involved and create positive change for future generations.
8. Keep tabs on yourself with a 24-hour urine iodine test and iodine therapy. Fluoride can stay in your system for a while and it is ubiquitous. Even with a perfect adherence to these habits you will get exposed. You have to prevent and proactively remove it from your body for optimal health, and the only way to do that is through regular iodine and boron intake and preventative lifestyle measures.
4. https://americanfluoridationsociety.org/wpcontent/uploads/2018 /04/Bone-fracture-2001-Li-Effect-of-Long-Term-Exposure-to-Fluoride-in-Drinking-Water-on-Risksof-Bone-Fractures-full-text.pdf