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Fluoride: Friend or Foe?

What is fluoride?

Fluoride is a mineral in your bones and teeth and can also be found naturally in water, soil, plants, rocks and air. It is commonly used to strengthen the outer layer of your teeth, known as the enamel and helps prevent cavities. 

In the USA and in many other countries, a small amount of fluoride is added to public water supplies. This process is called fluoridation.

 

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What are the risks?

Excessive exposure to fluoride has been associated with a number of health issues.

 

Dental Fluorosis

This mostly affects children below 8 years old, when permanent teeth are still coming in and developing. Children of this age group tends to swallow toothpaste because of the flavors and attractive color. That is why for younger children, it is highly recommended to use fluoride-free toothpastes.

 

Skeletal Fluorosis

A bone disease caused by too much exposure to fluoride is called Skeletal Fluorosis. Overtime, this can result in pain and damage to bone structure. Long-term exposure to high levels of fluoride may cause your bones to harden and become less elastic, increasing the risk of fractures. 

 

Thyroid Problems

Hyperthyroidism, which involves uncontrolled secretion of parathyroid hormones, can be an effect of excess fluoride. This can result in calcium deficiency in bone structure and higher-than-normal calcium in the blood.

 

Other health problems

  • Acne and other skin problems
  • Reproductive issues
  • Lower IQ in children
  • Bone cancer

 

Takeaway

We are at the age where “natural” movements are taking the world by storm. Many consumers are more conscious about their decisions in buying health and wellness products. 

The use of fluoride-free toothpaste have thus far more benefits and prevention as compared to toothpastes with fluoride. Besides, we are simply going back to how everything else worked: the natural way.

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