As a holistic and biological dental practice, we know that everything we do in caring for our patients’ oral health can affect their whole body health and well-being. It’s why our office is mercury-free, for instance, as well as mercury-safe.

So for one, we never place “silver” amalgam fillings. Amalgam is roughly 50% mercury, one of the most toxic natural elements on Earth. It’s especially harmful to the brain. But we also take extra precautions whenever mercury is involved.

That means that we won’t polish any amalgam fillings you have when you come in for a cleaning. Polishing releases high amounts of mercury from the restorations. If you choose to have your amalgams replaced with biocompatible restorations, we follow the strict safety procedures developed by the International Academy of Oral Medicine & Toxicology – their SMART protocol. (“SMART” stands for Safe Mercury Amalgam Removal Technique.)

Another substance you won’t find in our office is fluoride, which is also quite toxic, contributing to a host of systemic health issues. (The IAOMT offers a fine overview, including scientific references.) Of special concern, though, is fluoride’s neurotoxic effects on children – the subject of much recent research.

“There is…a large body of evidence on IQ effects in children,” notes a National Toxicology Program report on the matter released earlier this year: a 6-year systematic review of research on fluoride’s effects on the brain. Importantly, this review considered ALL potential sources of fluoride – not just drinking water but dental products, processed foods, pesticides, and more. Through two rounds of external peer review, all reviewers agreed with its conclusion that early fluoride exposure, including prenatal exposure, can reduce IQ.

There is also some evidence that fluoride exposure is associated with other neurodevelopmental and cognitive effects in children; although, because of the heterogeneity of the outcomes, there is low confidence in the literature for these other effects. This review finds, with moderate confidence, that higher fluoride exposure (e.g., represented by populations whose total fluoride exposure approximates or exceeds the World Health Organization Guidelines for Drinking-water Quality of 1.5 mg/L of fluoride) is consistently associated with lower IQ in children. [emphasis added]

No safe level of exposure was identified.

One important person doing research in this area is Dr. Christine Till, a registered psychologist with an expertise in neuropsychology in both children and adults, and a tenured professor in the Department of Psychology and Faculty of Health at York University in Toronto.

Earlier this year, Dr. Till took the time to participate in a webinar on the current state of the research on fluoride’s neurotoxicity. We encourage you to take an hour to hear her out and decide for yourself whether fluoride is something we should habitually be exposing ourselves to (especially the youngest and most vulnerable among us):