Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Time to brush your teeth... get out the soap

Toothpaste does more harm than good, report says

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Do you enjoy paying dental bills? Or having dentists scraping plaque from your teeth? If it's a pleasure, there's no need to read this column. But I've never enjoyed these regular checkups. Now there's a way to retire dentists, prevent cavities, protect gums and rid teeth of plaque using cheap, ordinary soap.

My first reaction when I read this report was, "Come on, Dr. Judd, you must be kidding! Who would ever brush teeth with soap?" But Dr. Gerald F. Judd is no nut. He's a retired professor emeritus of chemistry at Purdue University.

I admire people who have the intestinal fortitude to question well-established theories that may be wrong. Besides, I discovered he and I both believe dentists are wrong on another issue.

Dr. Judd reports acid destroys enamel and cavities would vanish if people rinsed acids from their mouths quickly. Tap water is all that's needed to do the job.

He also claims bacteria cannot damage the tooth's hard outer enamel that is composed of calcium hydroxy phosphate. The proof is that bones and teeth are resistant to earth-bound organisms. After all, we've all seen pictures of skeletons that have been unearthed after hundreds of years with teeth still intact.

But why use soap to clean teeth? Judd says glycerine is present in all toothpastes and it's so sticky it requires 27 washes to clean it off. This means teeth remain coated with a film and cannot rebuild enamel. And if they're not clean, adenosine diphosphatase cannot provide phosphate to enamel.

His next point is what I wanted to hear. Brushing with soap destroys bacteria and viruses. No professor at the Harvard Medical School told me about that. Or that brushing with ordinary bar soap not only cleans teeth but also removes hard plaque stuck to the bottom of enamel.

Removing plaque from teeth is vital as it invades gums, separating them from teeth. This sets the stage for gingivitis, poorly anchored teeth and eventually possible loss of teeth. It's shocking that 25 per cent of North Americans over 43, and 42 per cent of those over 65, have no teeth!

Dr. Judd also believes the fluoridation of water and the use of fluoride toothpaste is a useless, dangerous biological poison. He says calcium fluoride seeps into enamel, making it weak and brittle and destroys 83 enzymes along with adenosine diphosphatase.

I couldn't agree more. Look at the warning on fluoride toothpaste. Parents are told to watch children under six years of age while they brush their teeth.

To be safe, only a tiny amount of toothpaste is used and none should be swallowed. That should tell you something! One three-year-old child had fluoride gel placed on his teeth. The hygienist handed him a glass of water but rather than rising out his mouth, he drank it. A few hours later he was dead.

If fluoride toothpaste is the answer to dental decay, why is it 98 per cent of Europe is fluoride-free. Sweden, Germany, Norway, Holland, Denmark and France stopped using fluoridation 29 years ago. These are not backward depressed nations.

The sole argument for fluoridation is it reduces tooth decay. But several studies involving as many as 480,000 children found no beneficial evidence between fluoridated and non-fluoridated communities.

Dr. Hardy Limeback, professor of dentistry at the University of Toronto, says children under three should never use fluoridated toothpaste or drink fluoridated water, and mothers should never use Toronto tap water to prepare baby formula.

Will I practise what I've preached in this column? You bet, as I'm curious to know whether I can say goodbye to the dental hygienist who scrapes plaque off my teeth, not to mention the cost. The test will take three months and I'll report the result.

No doubt all hell from the dental profession will descend on me. This doesn't worry me. What does is that my dentist will read this column and keep a big rusty drill handy for my next appointment.

docgiff.com info@docgiff.com

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition January 21, 2011 A23

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