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Toxic Toothpaste

Toxic Toothpaste

In the eighth installment of her "Dangerous or Safe?" series, pediatrician Dr. Cara Natterson sets the record straight on toothpaste.

Brushing your teeth is one of the few things that you do every day -- twice a day or more -- for a lifetime. Toothpaste is designed to:
  • keep our teeth healthy and strong
  • prevent cavities
  • freshen breath

The claims against fluoride include:

  • vomiting and diarrhea
  • seizures, tremors, and weakness
  • respiratory distress
  • heart attack and heart rate abnormalities (particularly slowing of the heart)
  • fluorosis (white staining of the teeth)
  • ingesting fluoride can weaken bones, increasing the risk for fracture
  • questions about the effects on the reproductive system
  • possible association with Alzheimer's disease

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