We do not use fluoride in our home. None in the toothpaste, none in the mouthwash, none for the kids, and never in our water. But this is not how it always was in my life. The first few years of my life were spent in Maryland, and unless I’m mistaken, we did not have bottled spring water to drink or mix formula with at home. The public water in Maryland was at the time – and remains to this day – fluoridated. [I found this information on the CDC’s website.] I also recall the use of chew-and-spit fluoride tablets after brushing my teeth with fluoridated toothpaste as a child, and of course the fluoride treatments at the dentist. Not to mention “swish” time in public elementary school, during which fluoride mouth rinse was administered to the class in small paper cups by the school nurse, who then timed our swishing and instructed us to spit it back into the cup. By the time I was seven we were on well water at home, which did not have fluoride added to it, thank goodness…but the damage was already done. My top front teeth have fluorosis, by which I mean they have permanent white splotches on them as a result of excessive fluoride exposure. It’s been there as long as I can remember, and until fairly recently all I knew about it was that it was a cosmetic issue I shouldn’t worry about. Wrong.
“Fluorosis is the first clinical sign of fluoride poisoning. Excess fluoride does not only affect teeth. It also harms bones, kidneys, thyroid, brains, and other organs. Fluoride is not a nutrient and the body has no need for any of it.” – Bill Osmunson, DDS and president of Washington Action for Safe Water [See the press release here]
This is a part of what I feel contributed to my developing Hashimoto’s autoimmune hypothyroidism. There are many pieces to the puzzle, and I’m still learning about autoimmunity (as is the scientific community). Some of the other things that I think contributed based on my research since the day I was diagnosed include dental x-rays (please, always request a shield collar when having these x-rays done, whether you think you need it or not), overexposure to gluten, eating processed foods, not dealing with stress properly, perchlorate chemicals in the drinking fountains at my high school (this was discovered midway through my time there, and they brought in bottled water in response), trying a vegetarian diet for a few years which included consumption of processed soy, and Epstein-Barr virus. Yes, that’s a large list of things. They all apply to me, and they are all linked to Hashimoto’s. I truly think this is a collaborative rather than specific-trigger issue. So I have a lot of work to do in order to properly heal myself, but I’m getting there!
As I’ve mentioned before, eliminating gluten has helped a lot. I also use supplements specifically to support my endocrine system. But of course, the fluoride is a big issue. Being exposed to fluoride during the stage in life when the body experiences its fastest growth and is at its most delicate can have detrimental effects, even if they don’t show up until down the road. What your body experiences as a baby and young child goes into your cells and can sit there for a while before being activated by something else. This is part of what I’ve learned in reading about epigenetics so far. Therefore, I do not use fluoride on my children in any way. We do not give them tap water to drink, and I installed filters on our showers. Nope, I don’t want my children to soak in a nice fresh tub of chemicals and pharmaceuticals and absorb it all through their largest organ – their skin.
So these days, I don’t use oral hygiene products that include fluoride in any amount. Instead, my family uses the wonderful line of Young Living toothpastes and mouthwash. These products use liposomes to slowly deliver essential oil blends to your mouth to help maintain good oral health. I love the flavors, I love the ingredients, and I love how wonderful my mouth feels. The mouthwash is the best I’ve ever used.
And here is a 5-minute video Lindsey Elmore made about them!
Oil pulling is another thing I do to maintain good oral health. This practice has been used for centuries. Traditionally sesame seed oil is used, but many people use coconut oil these days with very good effects. I like to add a drop of Clove, Orange, or Thieves to it for extra support and a nice flavor. I was doing it at night before bed, but read that a lot of people do it first thing in the morning, so I’ll be trying that for a while. Another important aspect of dental health is proper nutrition. I think that will have to be another post, but I’ll say it right now: you must eat wholesome foods to keep your teeth strong and gums healthy! They are completely connected, folks.
So…what do you use to keep your mouth healthy and fresh? Have any of you tried any of the Young Living products I mentioned?