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If you’re like most people, you’ve heard that fluoride is bad for you or that you should get fluoride-free toothpaste, but you’re still not 100% sure why you should be avoiding fluoride. Or you’re not able to explain the science behind it.

After this post, you will be. Here is a simple, chemistry lesson that no scientist will argue against.

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Fluoride Dangers: Why Use Fluoride-Free Toothpaste

Remember the periodic table? The bane of your existence throughout high school? Unfortunately, we’ll have to revisit it briefly. If you look below, there is a class of elements called the “halogens”, which has been outlined. The halogens are fluorine, chlorine, bromine, iodine, and astatine.

fluoride dangers

Now here are the two facts about halogens that need to be understood to understand why fluoride isn’t a good idea:

  • Halogens compete with one another for absorption. That means if you drink heavily fluorinated and chlorinated water, you will block your body’s ability to absorb iodine properly. And what’s iodine crucial for? The thyroid gland, which regulates our metabolic rate and touches every single cell in the human body. Is it any wonder we’re seeing more and more thyroid and endocrine disorders?
  • Halogens are highly electronegative (highly reactive). What’s more, the higher up on the chart, the more reactive the element is. That makes fluorine the most reactive halogen, which means no other chemical can displace it! That means when it comes to a showdown between iodine and fluorine, fluorine always wins out. That’s why fluorine is also never found in nature.
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Now that you understand the science, here are a handful of tips for what you can do about it and make sure your thyroid stays healthy:

For fluorine

  • Use fluoride-free toothpaste
  • Use a water filtration system
  • Avoid processed food. The more processed it is, the more fluoride it has.
  • Avoid non-stick pans as research has shown this can increase fluoride content in food

For chlorine:

  • Swim in a saltwater pool if possible. If you only have access to chlorinated pools, be sure to supplement with iodine.
  • Use a shower filter to remove chlorine

For bromine:

  • Avoid non-organic strawberries (bromine is used as a pesticide mainly for strawberries)
  • Avoid refined vegetable oils, specifically brominated vegetable oil
  • Avoid citrus flavoured drinks i.e. Mountain Dew
  • Minimize exposure to commercial bread and bakeries (used as a dough conditioner)

Image Sources: 

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