I grew up on fluoride. My family had fluoridated toothpaste; as a child, I was taken to the dentist for regular fluoride treatments. And so I raised my children the same way: fluoridated. But new studies are emerging that have made me rethink that decision. And now I’m worried: Is fluoride dangerous?
My daughter hasn’t brushed her teeth in two days. That’s because we ran out of the natural kids toothpaste, and so did our local supermarket. The convenient little shelf that featured all my favorite eco-friendly kids toothpaste brands is gone, and none of them are integrated anywhere else. Sure, I can make a special trip to Whole Foods. But for kids toothpaste? I might as well just grin and bear it—pun intended—and buy a tube of the conventional kind. Right? Wrong. Because as I found out, conventional kids toothpaste can be toxic.
Oh, triclosan. According to the FDA, it’s no more effective than soap and water at killing bacteria; studies have shown that it may compromise our immune systems, make us more susceptible to allergies, and affect our hormones. And research proves that antibacterials like triclosan breed antibiotic-resistant bacteria. But one personal care conglomerate is still putting this toxic stuff in your…toothpaste?