The secret to healthy teeth and bones is NOT fluoride

lemon water

Optimal pH is the key to good health. Squeezing fresh lemon into your water can naturally increase its pH level.

A couple of weeks ago, the U.S. admitted there was too much fluoride in water, resulting in an increase in cases of mild dental fluorosis among children. Days later, an editorial in the Washington Post examined the risk of cavities from drinking filtered and bottled water that doesn’t contain fluoride. With all of this confusion, it’s hard to determine the best way to ensure healthy teeth and bones for all. While reading the Washington Post article, I couldn’t help but think it was a little biased. After all, the writer expresses that her concerns over drinking filtered water arrived while she was visiting her dentist who told her about the supposed dangers of not drinking fluoridated water. Well, of course your dentist is going to tell you that fluoride is necessary and good for you.  One writer, in response to this article, suggested that it “comes off as an ADA propaganda piece,” and I would have to agree. But if fluoride is not the solution to cavities, then what is?

Two interesting responses to this article came up in my e-mail feeds last week, and though the fluoride debate has, perhaps, been beaten to death, I thought the implications from both of them seemed worthy of sharing. One of the responses came from Xenophilia, “a science, technology, politics, arts and strange events news blog” serving over 1.5 million readers. Xeno argues that the lack of fluoride is not what causes cavities. Rather, it is the American diet which promotes the intake of sugars and simple carbohydrates. These sugars support the growth of certain species of bacteria that make acid. It is acid that breaks down enamel and leads to cavities and gum disease. The solution is restoring the natural balance of “good” and “bad” bacteria in the mouth – a.k.a. probiotics. Probiotics have had gastrointestinal applications for years, but they are now breaking into the oral market with toothpastes, mints and oral care products that contain ProBiora3, a natural ingredient that promotes the balance of good and bad bacteria in the mouth. The takeaway? Harmful bacteria produces lactic acid, which breaks down tooth enamel. The key to good dental health is promoting a non-acidic environment…

Which leads me to the next response to the Washington Post article, released by PR Newswire. Evamor, a bottled alkaline water manufacturer educates consumers on the dental benefits of alkaline water. Alkaline water has a non-acidic pH of 8 or higher. Once again, we see a common theme: cavity-causing bacteria create acidic environments, so exposing your teeth and gums to water that has a basic pH will neutralize the acid in the mouth that causes cavities. While we don’t normally promote bottled water, the piece states: “With a pH level at 8.8, Evamor also aids in combating excess acids introduced by the modern diet loaded with sugars, preservatives and fats.” Alkaline water has been said to promote overall bodily health, in addition to supporting the growth of strong teeth and bones. It is fluoride-free, but who needs fluoride, when you can beat cavities the natural way, and NOT run the risk of fluorosis. A healthy diet, rich in foods that promote a basic pH, combined with the moderate consumption of alkaline water, to keep your overall body pH at a healthy level (between 7.2 and 7.6, is optimal, if I’m not mistaken), is the key to preventing cavities, fluorosis, and many other diseases.

It’s worth trying out, at least…

We are not saying you should go buy a case of Evamor tomorrow. Quite the contrary. There are better solutions than further contributing to the plastic bottle waste on this planet. The first step is to test your water’s pH to find out where you are on the spectrum. Then you may want to consider some natural options for bringing your water’s alkalinity to the optimal level that don’t require you to spend thousands a year on plastic bottled water. Several sources state that adding a small amount of baking soda or fresh lemon to your water can increase its alkalinity. (Make sure you test the pH of the water again, before drinking it, however, to make sure you are adding the right amount.) If you’re going for alkaline water that is fluoride-free, consider filtering it through a reverse osmosis filter, before adding lemon or baking soda. Alternatively, you may choose to invest in a water ionizer system; however these are very expensive. Reverse osmosis filtered water with lemon, combined with a healthy diet, rich in foods that promote alkalinity, seems like the least expensive, and best way to get alkaline water that is fluoride-free.

Coca-Cola for Clean Water?

I just wanted to highlight my recent confusion over Coca-Cola’s sustainability efforts. Namely:

  • Coca-Cola’s Commitment to the CEO Water Mandate: a program designed to help companies better manage their water use.

Though I applaud Coca-Cola’s apparent concern over the world’s water supply, I can’t help but contemplate the irony of their efforts. Surely Coke must be aware that it takes nearly two gallons of water to manufacture just one of their many plastic beverage bottles. Conservation? Good water management? Nice try, guys, but I can’t help but wonder if this is “greenwashing” at it’s best…

Readers, what do you think?

The Onion reveals what happens when 30 million people throw away plastic

Earlier this year, The Onion published a thought-provoking article on what happens when 30 million people shrug off the environmental harm done by throwing away just one plastic bottle.  This cynically funny “news” source always has a way of making a statement without actually stating it outright.  While reading this I began to cringe as I recalled the many times in my life where I’ve said the same thing that most people say as they toss their empty plastic water bottles into the trash can – “It’s no big deal.  It’s not like I do it all the time.  I hardly even drink bottled water.  What’s one plastic bottle anyway?”  Likewise, as the article points out, “what difference is it going to make if I leave one light bulb on all night or if I leave the water running while I brush my teeth? I’m just one person.  No one will notice….”

But what happens when 30 million people say the same thing? The consequences add up a lot faster than the lost pennies under your sofa cushion and you realize that there are actually millions of other people living on the planet besides yourself.

Okay, so I may have just stated the point outright, but it’s still worth a read.