Skip the water after brushing – July 1, 2013
Dr. Jerry Gordon
Claim 1. a): “After brushing with a fluoride containing toothpaste, many people rinse their mouth out with water as part of their routine. This practice can greatly reduce the protective effect of fluoride.”
Response 1. b): Due to the high levels of fluoride in toothpastes, not rinsing will inevitably lead to swallowing; swallowing fluoride can in turn contribute to a whole range of health effects. For children especially: “Children should spit and rinse thoroughly after brushing” (Colgate – Warnings). This issue is touched on by Thiessen 2013, whilst Merfeld 2013 says, “After considering a great deal of evidence, the benefits of fluoridation do not seem to justify the risks. This is my personal decision. If you decide fluoride is right for your family, I suggest that you consider a topical application by using toothpaste with fluoride. You can even choose to swallow toothpaste, but due to the fluoride content that is not recommended.”
Claim 2. a): “Fluoride originates from a naturally occurring element called fluorine. Fluoride compounds are contained in rocks and soil, and form fluoride ions when water passes over them. Fluoride is present to some degree in all water sources, foods and beverages.”
Response 2. b): “Natural does not necessarily mean good. Arsenic, like ﬂuoride, leaches naturally from rocks into groundwater, but no one suggests topping that up. Besides, there is nothing “natural” about the ﬂuoridating chemicals, as they are obtained largely from the wet scrubbers of the phosphate fertilizer industry. The chemicals used in most ﬂuoridation programs are either hexaﬂuorosilicic acid or its sodium salt, and those silicon ﬂuorides do not occur in nature” (Connett, Beck & Micklem 2010, p. 246). As noted by Limeback 2000, “Fluoride… has contaminated most processed foods and beverages throughout North America.” According to the National Research Council 2006, “The major sources of internal exposure of individuals to fluorides are the diet (food, water, beverages) and fluoride-containing dental products (toothpaste, fluoride supplements). Internal exposure to fluorides also can occur from inhalation (cigarette smoke, industrial emissions), dermal absorption (from chemicals or pharmaceuticals), ingestion or parenteral administration of fluoride-containing drugs, and ingestion of fluoride-containing soil.” The question is, with all these sources of fluoride, which health agency is monitoring for dose, accumulation and side effects in the general public? Unfortunately, monitoring is vastly inadequate (see: 50 reasons #9). It is interesting to note that industrial workers are rigorously monitored for fluoride exposure, yet the general public is peddled the idea that one can never get enough fluoride.
Claim 3. a): “Systemically (throughout the body), fluoride is obtained when ingested via water and other beverages, foods, drops, tablets, and other sources. A major function of fluoride taken systemically is the strengthening of developing teeth from infancy to adolescence. Fluoride strengthens teeth by the formation of harder enamel that is less vulnerable to damage from plaque acids.”
Response 3. b): This notion is outdated and incorrect (i.e. fluoride works topically, not systemically). For further discussion, watch this video and this presentation. Recommended reading: The Case Against Fluoride (Chapters 6, 7 & 8).