How A Children's CD Changed My Views On Toothpaste

Friday, March 14, 2014 0 Comments A+ a-

It all started with a simple children's CD - Here Comes Science. I listened to this CD hundred of times before I really started to apply it's message to my own life. I was brushing my teeth as I was singing Put It To The Test by They Might Be Giants.

♪ If somebody says they figured it out ♪
♪ And they're leaving any room for doubt ♪
♪ Come up with a test ♪
♪ Yeah, you need a test ♪

♪ Are you sure that that thing is true? ♪
♪ Or did someone just tell it to you? ♪
♪ Come up with a test ♪

And, as I as there looking up at my homemade natural tooth powder, I began to wonder...

How do I know if this stuff really works?
Has anyone ever tested this out before?
Is the fluoride in my toothpaste even bad, or did somebody just tell it to me?

So, like any good researcher, I hopped on the internet. ;) I went to many places where people advocate this type of dental care, and I went looking for answers. I asked the believers, and the questions I asked were simple. What studies have been done that show dental care free of fluoride & artificial mouthwash is effective? Are there any peer-reviewed studies that fluoride in toothpaste is harmful?

The replies were always the same. Though many of the people practiced this type of dental care, the couldn't come across a single published peer-reviewed study saying that it is effective. Nothing. The same with fluoride. There was not a single peer-reviewed study that showed the amount of fluoride in toothpaste was harmful to adults. Only one (non-peer-reviewed) correlational study was brought up, but it was shaky at best.

Getting these replies shook my world a bit. I had been duped by the natural parenting world. I had fallen for it all, and personally felt like a bit of an idiot for being so naive. But, I suppose I'm sort of glad I was wrong. I'd much rather realize that something I believed was wrong than to continue putting the dental health of my family at jeopardy due to pseudoscience. Yes, pseudoscience. It's is a claim, belief or practice which is presented as scientific, but does not adhere to a valid scientific method, lacks supporting evidence or plausibility, cannot be reliably tested, or otherwise lacks scientific status. :)

Yes, from flouride-free devotee to full-on skeptic. People can change. Evidence has a way of doing that.

Oh, and for those interested in Put It To The Test - check out the video & lyrics below. Enjoy!



If there's a question bothering your brain
That you think you know how to explain
You need a test
Yeah, think up a test

If it's possible to prove it wrong
You're going to want to know before too long
You'll need a test

If somebody says they figured it out
And they're leaving any room for doubt
Come up with a test
Yeah, you need a test

Are you sure that that thing is true?
Or did someone just tell it to you?
Come up with a test

Test it out
Find a way to show what would happen
If you were incorrect
(Test it out)
A fact is just a fantasy
Unless it can be checked
Make a test
Test it out

If you want to know if it's the truth
Then, my friend, you are going to need proof
Come up with a test
Yeah, you need a test

Don't believe it 'cause they say it's so
If it's not true, you have a right to know
Put it to the test (put it to the test)
Yeah, test it out (put it to the test)
Yeah, put it to the test (put it to the test)
Put it to the test (put it to the test)

Did you ever believe something you later discovered to be untrue? Feel free to share it in the comments section below. :)
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