I’ve always believed that true health comes from within. This still holds true for dental health. It’s interesting, for example, that there are isolated non-industrialized populations around the world in which brushing does not exist and dental health is superior to that in western countries.
Dr. Weston Price, D.D.S., has written a famous account of these populations. The key points that Dr. Price makes in his book, Nutrition and Physical Degeneration, are based on the very philosophy that health (even dental health) indeed comes from within.
But there are situations in which fluoride toothpaste has an important role.
In the remote communities that Dr. Price studied, their diet did not consist of processed grains or concentrated sugars. They exercised as a way of life. The population ate from the land. That’s right! They ate vegetables, fruits, and lean meats, fresh and in-season—with no pesticides, preservatives, wax coatings, or anything else foreign.
Now, in America, you may have noticed that most of the food in the grocery store comes in a box, a can, or in plastic wrapping. Most of those boxes contain (in really small writing) a long list of ingredients, most of which can’t be pronounced. The fruits and vegetables are often sprayed, gassed and waxed before arriving. They were grown in soil that has been saturated with chemical pesticides in fields in which over-cropping has lead to micronutrient depletion.
I believe that a diet comprised of these processed, “chemicalized”, and nutrient-depleted foods contributes on some level (or more likely multiple levels) to the development of disease, including dental disease.
So when someone asks me if they should use a toothpaste containing fluoride, I say it depends.
For patients with current dental problems, their dental hygiene should have a twofold approach: food and fluoride. The nutritional approach involves having an optimal diet, and nutrient supplementation when necessary, in order to facilitate healing, enhance repair, and improve defense mechanisms.
And yes, in this situation, fluoride toothpaste would be advisable until dental health has been achieved.
For everyone else, I would recommend that they brush twice a day after meals with a non-fluoride toothpaste.
But you won’t find a shortage of dentists who disagree with me. The American Dental Association’s website contains pro-fluoride recommendations.
On the other hand, though, you have Dr. Paul Connett, Ph.D., who opposes fluoride in toothpaste and water. He’s written an extensive summary of research involving fluoride in toothpaste and water.
So there are experts on both sides.
Ultimately, is fluoride, safe, advisable, and recommended? In my opinion, the short answers: it depends.
To your health,
Brian E Lamkin DO