“We’re conducting a vast toxicological experiment and we are using children as experimental animals.” Phillip Landrigan M.D.

Society is bombarded by the messages of ‘eat this way for a healthy heart’ and ‘cleanse your liver by this diet’, but what about the body’s largest organ of all, the skin! The skin is a highly effective medium for absorbing nutrients (or toxins). Whatever is placed on the skin is absorbed directly into the body. This is why the anti-cigarette Nicorette patches work so effectively. Here is another example for you – if you are having difficulty getting your baby or toddler to swallow medicine, simply rub it on their feet. If the medicine is in a tablet form i.e. tissue salts, it can be crushed to a paste with water. Homeopathic medicine can be dissolved in water. Given that the skin is so willing to absorb whatever is placed on it, have you thought about what your children’s skin is absorbing from bubble bath and shampoo or via the skin in their mouth and gums – from toothpaste?

Let’s start with toothpaste. The first question to consider is why do commercial brands of toothpaste not disclose their contents? Are the ingredients that bad that they dare not let consumers be aware of them? Hmmmm. Now here is something else to be concerned about. New labeling laws in the USA require that all toothpaste containing fluoride must carry the following statement on its packaging:

TOOTHPASTE WARNING: Keep out of reach of children under 6 years of age.
If you accidentally swallow more than used for brushing seek
professional assistance or contact a Poison Control Centre immediately.

I contacted a girlfriend who has recently moved to America, asking her about this label and what toothpaste she uses for her toddlers. Yes, she replied, this is the warning that appears on all of the commercial types of toothpastes, including the Oral B and Colgate toothpastes her children use. I don’t know about you, but I have never met a baby or toddler who is able to rinse its mouth properly, nor resist the temptation to eat the toothpaste. Even if this were possible, the skin absorbs whatever is placed on it, so the gums and cheeks that come into contact with the toothpaste will be absorbing those contents. This makes it very difficult to monitor the amount being ingested.

The Qld Health guidelines for fluoride intake recognises that toothpaste will be ‘consumed’ and takes this into account in the levels of fluoride they recommend for supplementation. In fact, they encourage parents to leave the toothpaste in the mouth to increase the ingestion of fluoride from it. Seems a dramatic contradiction to this new toothpaste warning.

Whether you are for or against fluoride is another topic altogether. What I will say is that there are three ways to obtain fluoride – food, supplementation or toothpaste.

Food – natural fluoride is found in fresh fruit and vegetables (especially green vegetables and seaweed), Raw goats milk is another excellent source. Fluoride loses its potency when heated, for this reason; pasteurised milk does not contain effective levels of fluoride.

Supplementation – synthetic fluoride is available from your local chemist. Please be aware that the Australian Dental Association is currently reviewing their stance on fluoride and are now recommending that until their review is complete, to take only ½ of the previously suggested amounts. The government’s school health clinic recommends that fluoride as a supplement is most effective between the ages of 2 and 5 when the core of the adult teeth are being formed within the gums. Topical application ie fluoridated toothpaste, may create larger problems. If the core of the tooth is weaker than the exterior, the tooth may develop a cavity on the interior, which, due to the stronger exterior, may go undetected. The most important aspect of supplementation is to avoid overdose. The Queensland government guidelines for fluoride supplementation currently state that for children using fluoridated toothpaste, oral fluoride supplementation carries more risk than benefit.

Whether you are pro or anti fluoride, the bottom line rests with the fact that I have yet to find a brand of fluoridated toothpaste that has healthy ingredients. Therefore, if it is important for you to have additional fluoride in your children’s diet, I would suggest choosing diet or supplementation. In choosing the regular commercial fluoride toothpastes, your children will be ingesting artificial colours, flavours, sweeteners and other potentially harmful ingredients. Weleda and Miessence both produce excellent quality toothpastes suitable for all ages. These contain only natural ingredients and if a larger quantity than would usually be used happened to be ingested, there would happily be no cause for alarm.

What is the solution to avoiding tooth decay?
By Julie Phillips
1. Avoiding, or limiting wherever possible, the consumption of white sugar. In addition to foods like lollies and soft drinks, this also includes being aware of the white sugar content added to the many supposedly healthy foods like fruit yoghurts. (Many have about 4 teaspoons of white sugar per small tub).
2. Regular brushing of the teeth. It may be a surprise that this has been listed second in importance. Of our current civilized population, despite great advances in dentistry and education on tooth brushing, 95% suffer with tooth decay and/or some periodontal disease. Whats interesting about this is that healthy primitive tribes, as researched by Dr Weston A. Price, had virtually no tooth decay! This was despite the fact that they did not brush their teeth or visit the dentist. The only difference is diet. This has again been confirmed by recent studies between Adventist and Non-Adventist children where it was concluded that diet was the main factor contributing to dental health. This brings us to the importance of the next point.
3. A diet rich in natural vitamin C and/or raw milk. Unfortunately today the majority of fruits that were traditionally consumed for their high vitamin C content, now contain very little. This is due to the fact they are picked green and gas ripened. The current best sources of vitamin C are leafy green vegetables, guava, paw paw and all the berries – plant a mulberry tree and allow your children a healthy teeth feast. Natural vitamin C is like an invisible toothbrush. Raw, unpasteurised milk strengthens the structure of the teeth internally, as well as reducing the likelihood of decay.
4. This is perhaps the most important point that health conscious parents are not aware of. Limit the consumption of dried fruit! Dried fruit is a deadly combination for the teeth – a highly concentrated sweet and very sticky. After consuming dried fruit, if possible, drink some water and swish the water around their mouth before swallowing.