My Toothpaste Rant

Today is senior’s day at the local drug store – time to stock up on supplies. But not toothpaste evidently. I prefer Tom’s, but I sometimes buy Sensodyne Original. I used to buy it there. Not that I’m partial to Sensodyne, just that it is one of, possibly the only toothpaste commonly available (outside of health food stores) that does not contain fluoride. But, the clerk said “If it’s not on the shelf, we don’t sell it.”

My local drug store, like most big chains, has over 50 different flavours of toothpaste. I say ‘flavours’, because there is only one basic ‘formula’, in four or five different brands. Most of the 50 different toothpaste flavours are made by Crest or Colgate, followed by Sensodyne.

Every one of the 50 different toothpastes at my local pharmacy contain fluoride.

I have seen studies suggesting that fluoride reduces cavities. I’m not interested.

I would be interested in scientific studies if they were ‘scientific’ enough to take ALL of the known recipes for toothpaste and test them against each other, and publish all of the results. And if a new toothpaste recipe is proposed, let it go thru the same tests. Using scientific tests to find the BEST TOOTHPASTE would be a great idea. It would also be a great ongoing project – short term and long term results could be measured. That’s how scientific studies of medicines should be designed. What are the short term results? What are the long term results? Most people use the same toothpaste recipe for decades.

But, scientific studies seldom, if every take the holistic approach to science – because they are designed to help market a specific drug or product. So called ‘scientific studies’ are generally battles between A (the proposed new product) and B – and are only published if A wins by a conclusive margin. If A loses, the study may need to be re-defined. That’s one of the reasons scientific studies are generally ‘short term’. The company wants to get the winner to market. Company funded ‘scientific studies’ are about as useful as the ‘scientific study’ showing that n percent of people prefer pepsi over coke. You can make the test as ‘scientific’ as you like – the results are still garbage.

I want a toothpaste that makes my teeth healthier, not ‘less sick’. 

So much for finding health in the toothpaste department. As near as I can tell, Crest does not produce a toothpaste without fluoride. Colgate produces many different toothpastes – only one that does not contain fluoride. Ditto for Sensodyne. My local drugstore does not sell a single toothpaste that does not contain fluoride.

Now maybe fluoride is good for your health. Maybe not. I do know that more than 10 countries have banned the addition of fluoride to water supplies – but still allow fluoride toothpaste. I know that fluoride toothpastes have warnings on the package that say ‘do not swallow’ – and frankly, I don’t want to brush my teeth with something that is not safe to swallow.

Why does my local drugstore have 50 flavours of toothpaste, but only one recipe? Because there is only one DRUG that has been tested scientifically with regards to tooth illness. Fluoride.

No one tests the healthiness of toothpaste. There’s no money in it. If a toothpaste makes your mouth, or your teeth healtheir, nobody knows.  There is no way to measure mouth or tooth ‘healthiness’ in our medical paradigm.  Medicine, medical science measures illness, and health be damned.

I want the freedom to make my own decision. I’d rather choose between 2 real toothpastes instead of 50 flavours of a single toothpaste recipe.

So, I will not buy toothpaste at my local, big chain, grocery store, and I will not buy toothpaste at my local, big chain, drugstore – because they restrict my freedom to choose a toothpaste that does not contain fluoride. I find it a bit strange that our so called ‘freedom based capitalist system’ results in stores that limit my choices to 50 flavours instead of two actual choices.

Does Tom’s make my teeth healthier? Does Sensodyne make my teeth healthier? Does fluoride make my teeth healthier?  I don’t know.  Nobody knows. We have many techniques to measure the illnesses of teeth and gums. But we have no techniques to measure healthiness. Let’s get on that!

I believe in Personal Health Freedom – if you want to purchase a toothpaste that contains fluoride, more power to you. If you want a toothpaste that does not contain fluoride – I hope you have a nearby health food store. I’ll be driving a few extra miles to get mine.

to your health, tracy
This post was originally published on Personal Health Freedom dot com. 

About Tracy Kolenchuk

Founder of Healthicine.org. Author of two books about healthicine; Healthicine: The Arts and Sciences of Health and Healthiness Healthicine: Introduction to Healthicine
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