Freedom from Fluoride
With all of the discussion about how public water supplies across the United States are artificially fluoridated – allegedly to help prevent tooth decay – while the evidence showing that ingesting fluoride is NOT the best way to protect oral health, one must wonder – is there a safe alternative?
Happily, the answer is a resounding ‘Yes!’ – and the solution is as simple as supplementing your diet with vitamin D, which not only helps prevent cavities, but it also helps to keep your gums healthy. Oddly enough this isn’t really news since the link between adequate vitamin D levels and increased cavity prevention is long established, with documentation going as far back as 1861-1865.
Putting Light on Historical Research
According to the Vitamin D Council there are more than a few comprehensive studies that clearly illustrate the connection between solar ultraviolet-B (UVB) light and dental cavities (or caries). These observations begin during the Civil War when a certain population was rejected due to tooth loss – those most notably coming from areas of the United States that lacked consistent sunshine. Then, in the 1900’s enlisted men were similarly evaluated and rejected. A few decades’ later researchers began charting the number of cavities among adolescent boys – and an undeniable correlation between available regional sunlight and the increase or lack of cavities became obvious. Finally, during the 1950s researchers were able to demonstrate that schoolchildren living in the sunnier inland counties of Oregon had fewer caries than those living in persistently foggy coastal counties.
How Vitamin D Works to Prevent Cavities
Vitamin D and calcium creates the best combination to prevent cavities, but at the same time one must remember; adding vitamin D to the diet after the fact will not cure a cavity. However, vitamin D and calcium can reduce the likelihood that additional caries will develop.
Not only is vitamin D naturally produced by the body in response to sunlight, but it comes with no side effects – particularly when activated though exposure to sunlight and as long as proper dosages are followed when using supplements. Vitamin D – which is found in such foods as shiitake and button mushrooms, mackerel and salmon, herring, tuna, catfish and eggs – among others – while green leafy vegetables are a good source for calcium – and calcium we already know it is necessary for bone health. Together these important nutrients create a powerful antimicrobial peptide or protein which actually attacks oral bacteria known to cause dental caries.
Fluoride vs. Vitamin D – A No-Brainer
The prevention of cavities through responsible exposure of adequate sunlight combined with vitamin D supplementation is quite simple and an effective method for achieving good oral health. Whereas fluoride in any form does not adequately prevent cavities but will very likely damage the body when ingested.
What is the Correct Dose?
The only way to know for sure if your vitamin D levels are optimal is to have your blood tested. The Vitamin D Council notes that as of yet there are no observational studies or randomized controlled trials on how vitamin D reduces the risk of cavities. Since there is considerable difference from one person to the next in response to vitamin D supplementation, please see your alternative health practitioner for more information on the available types of vitamin D supplementation and to find out what will work best for you.