Are Marginally Better Teeth Worth a Lower IQ?

I was at dinner the other night with friends and the topic of fluoride came up. The other couple has 2 young children and my girlfriend and I have a son just shy of his first year.

They asked if we use fluoride on his teeth to which I promptly responded, hell no. My first impulse was to say FU#% NO but they were my girlfriend’s friends and I was trying to be polite.

Now don’t get me wrong…these are both smart, well intentioned, loving parents that only want the best for their kids. But, they have been told time and time again by trusted figures to give their children fluoride and are doing what they think is best.

What the published research shows is that fluoride has many toxic effects that outweigh any benefits to your teeth.

A study from Harvard showed that, “children in high-fluoride areas had significantly lower IQ scores than those who lived in low-fluoride areas. The children studied were up to 14 years of age, but the investigators speculate that any toxic effect on brain development may have happened earlier, and that the brain may not be fully capable of compensating for the toxicity.”

The study author said, “Fluoride seems to fit in with lead, mercury, and other poisons that cause chemical brain drain”

Does that sound like something you want in your body or your kid’s body?

Other negative effects of fluoride include:

It’s no longer just crackpot parents, doctors and conspiracy theorist speaking out against the harms of fluoride. It’s been well established in the literature.

97% of Western Europe has rejected water fluoridation. When will America catch on?

And I know many other people are knowingly consuming fluoride through fluoride toothpaste and/or unknowingly through fluoridated water.

The main reason for this is because we have authorities like the American Dental Association (ADA) recommending fluoride, dentists recommending fluoride, and as I recently learned, pediatricians recommending fluoride.

At one of our son’s recent pediatrician appointments when he had his first few teeth his doctor asked if we are brushing his teeth with fluoride toothpaste and we said we brush his teeth but we use fluoride free toothpaste. He then recommended we switch to a fluoride toothpaste and wanted to give our son fluoride at the office. We of course opted out.

So my pediatrician wants us to give our kid fluoride and possibly significantly reduce his IQ and maybe cause other harms to protect his baby teeth that he’s going to lose anyway. It makes zero sense.

But this is why many loving parents are using fluoride on their children and themselves. Their doctor, whom they look to for the best advice to keep their children safe and healthy, recommends fluoride. Their dentist recommends fluoride. We’re plastered with toothpaste commercials that recommend fluoride.

And there’s a reason for this. Dentist are taught in dental school that fluoride incorporates into the tooth enamel and chemically replaces hydroxyl (OH) groups with Fluoro (F) groups. This changes the hydroxyapatite crystal of tooth enamel into a fluorapatite crystal, which is a smaller, tighter crystal more resistant to acids that cause tooth decay.

On the surface this sounds pretty good, right? When I was researching this and read how fluoride works it made a lot of sense and it almost made me want to switch to fluoride toothpaste. But only for an instant because I’m aware of all the other negative effects of fluoride on the rest of our bodies.

When it comes to good health we need to look at the whole. We can’t just isolate the teeth and say this has benefit while there are a host of negative side effects to the rest of the body.

The problem is that fluoride has only been shown to lead to a modest reduction in tooth decay. Unfortunately dentists are never taught that fluoride has no physiologic or catalytic use in the human body or that is can significantly reduce IQ in kids.

The other problem is that fluoride preventing tooth decay is based on topical use such as toothpaste and not ingesting it through our water supply. This part makes no sense. Would you ingest cologne or perfume if you wanted to smell like that scent? Or would you ingest moisturizer for dry hands or dry feet?

But for some reason the powers that be choose to pollute public drinking water with this toxic substance. (There is a reason for this that I couldn’t make up and I’m not going into it in this post but maybe another time.)

The other thing is even if fluoride did have pharmacological benefit there’s no fixed dose. Your dose depends on the amount of tap water you drink or toothpaste you swallow. (Which my son swallows every time because he’s a baby and it tastes good to him and he doesn’t understand the concept of spitting out yet.)

Another interesting tidbit I came across is that up until the 1950s, doctors prescribed fluoride to reduce thyroid function. The reason this works is because fluoride is an endocrine disruptor and reduces your thyroid’s uptake of iodine.

Without iodine your thyroid cannot properly function.

The correlation between the amount of fluoride in public drinking water and underactive thyroid is even listed on the WebMD website, which is about as mainstream and western medicine as it gets.

Reduced thyroid function causes a host of issues and affects your mitochondria. As you learned in The #1 Thing for Great Health & Energy, poor mitochondrial function is responsible for 85% of all disease.

Fluoride’s negative effect on mitochondria doesn’t end there.

Fluoride is a dielectric blocker, meaning it does not conduct electricity. When you have a lower electric potential you have less energy. Water in your cells is able to store energy. Fluoride discharges this energy = reduced mitochondrial function.

The ADA website claims fluoride reduces 25% of cavities in children and adults. Is having a few less cavities worth getting a chronic disease?

And if fluoride is the key to healthy teeth, why are countries without fluoridated water showing a similar decrease in dental caries to countries that do use fluoridated water?

I remember being a little kid in my first few years of school and little cups of fluoride rinse being served to all of us kids to swish with. (Do they still do this btw?)

I was a lucky one. My parents were either crackpots or knew something and asked that I not take part in this.

I remember feeling weird being one of the only kids not swishing his fluoride. I also remember a few years later asking my parents to buy fluoridated toothpaste because I had been brainwashed into thinking I needed it for good teeth.

Anyway, luckily I saw the light. If you’re still unsure…don’t take my word for it. Do some research. There’s a ton of info out there on the harms of fluoride.

I only covered a fraction in this post.

If fluoride is a concern for you and your family then…

  • Avoid fluoride toothpaste and mouthwash. I use Dr. Bronners and Kiss My Face. (There are other brands so experiment and find one that works for you.)


  • BTW…I get most of my stuff like toothpaste, soap, olive oil, vinegars, nuts, and more from Thrive Market. You can sign up for a free trial and also save 25% and get free shipping on your first order. Thrive Market has great prices and a great selection of healthy products.


  • If your city or township fluoridates your water make sure you: buy a filter that removes fluoride (most standard water filters such as Pure or Brita do not.); buy springwater that you know is fluoride free; buy reverse osmosis water (reverse osmosis removes fluoride.)


  • Avoid plastic bottled water when you can because even if the water starts out pure stuff from the plastic like BPA can leech into your water and plastic bottles create a ton of waste and pollution.


  • The best option is buy a home filter that removes fluoride and other crap you don’t want in your water. Here’s an under the sink reverse osmosis water filter that has a number of excellent reviews on Amazon.


  • Another option if you don’t want to deal with installing an under the counter reverse osmosis unit is AquaTru which is a 4 stage reverse osmosis countertop filter. AquaTru’s 4-Stage filtration removes over 20x more contaminants than the best-selling pitcher water filter including chromium 6, lead, and other dangerous toxins like disinfection byproducts, rocket fuel, and prescription drug residue. This filter can do what no other pitcher filter can do.


  • Be aware of fluoroquinolone antibiotics such as Cipro, Levaquin and others that contain high amounts of fluoride and sometimes cause permanent side effects. This is from the FDA website, “an FDA safety review found that both oral and injectable fluroquinolones are associated with disabling side effects involving tendons, muscles, joints, nerves and the central nervous system. These side effects can occur hours to weeks after exposure to fluoroquinolones and may potentially be permanent.”


  • Limit your consumption of certain teas. Green tea, Oolong, and Black tea have naturally occurring fluoride in them. These teas have health benefits so some is ok, just don’t overdo it.


  • I haven’t researched this but it’s probably safe to assume that fluoride is used in other medications so be aware.

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