Fluoride is often associated with combating tooth decay and is widely accepted as an ingredient in commercial dental hygiene products. But fluoride has had its fair share of controversy.
Up until the 1950’s in Europe and South America, fluoride was used to treat hyperthyroidism (an over-active thyroid).
While effective in treating over-active thyroids, fluoride use caused negative health effects in people with normal and under-active thyroids, as in those with hypothyroidism.
Today, it is still debated whether exposure to fluoride is the main cause of some modern hypothyroid cases. Some physicians claim that it takes only a small dose of fluoride to decrease thyroid activity. A dose most of us receive on a daily basis with the use of fluoride tinged mouthwash and toothpaste.
If this is true, there may be solutions to reducing the amount of hypothyroid cases, which currently accounts for 4.6 percent of people 12 years and older in the U.S. alone. By depleting the use of products containing fluoride, we limit the exposure and the chance of developing diseases that curb thyroid activity. This isn’t to say, however, that hypothyroidism won’t still occur due to other common factors such as iodine deficiency. Nor does it ensure the same results as conventional dental hygiene products.
Using fluoride free products is certainly better than not brushing or rinsing at all, and does a fine job of cleaning. However, it may not be as effective in cavity prevention or tooth decay. But if you wish to give fluoride-free cleaning a go, here are a couple concoctions to get you started. The first, compliments of diynatural.com, is a simple, refreshing mouthwash that leaves mouths spotless without the burn synonymous with commercial rinses.
1 mason jar, a cleaned out jam jar works well
1/2 cup water
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 drops tea tree oil
2 drops peppermint oil
With all items handy, you need only to mix them thoroughly in the jar. For each wash, swish 2 to 3 teaspoons of the mouthwash for a good minute or so. Be sure to shake the mouthwash up a bit before each use, otherwise the baking soda will remain settled at the bottom of the jar. Avoid swallowing and you’re good to go.
Making your own toothpaste can be equally simple and save you a fair amount of money along the way.
2/3 cup baking soda
4 teaspoons fine sea salt
2 teaspoons peppermint extract
In a small container, mix all the ingredients. Add to the mixture enough water until your desired consistency is reached. You can store this in a jar or air-tight container, scooping the mixture out with a spoon. Or you could pipe the paste onto your toothbrush using an icing bag and decorating tip.
Who knew brushing your teeth could be so festive?
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