The Weekly Thread: why hydroxyapatite over fluoride, how much fluoride is too much, and everyone will have a last day with you.

Ahhh, the fluoride debate. 

The sides of the spectrum can range from “an elite government conspiracy to lower our IQs” to “I drink nothing but tap water, and my teeth are healthy and brain functions just fine”. 

And of course, everything in between. 

As with most things, the reality appears to be in this in-between range. 

I’m going to break this segment down into two parts: 

1️⃣ The first of which will focus on the actual chemical and mechanical functionality of fluoride and why it is theoretically added to drinking water and oral care products like toothpaste.

2️⃣ The second part will dive a bit more deeply into the potential negative side effects of fluoride, or too much fluoride, much of which is for you to decide for yourself, as I am just here to arm you with objective information. 

The Role of Fluoride in Preventing Tooth Decay

To better understand the functionality of fluoride in preventing tooth decay, I refer back to the first segment on oral health where I discussed the idea of remineralization vs. demineralization. Again, if you haven't read that yet, go check it out first as this is important to understand. 

When our teeth are in a state of remineralization, crystals from minerals stack together in a very uniform manner to form bonds. These bonds strengthen your tooth enamel, and thus, prevent tooth decay. 

This is why we want to do all we can to keep our teeth in a state of remineralization as much as possible. 

The chemical components of this remineralization process is known as hydroxyapatite (HA). HA is an inorganic mineral found in high amounts in bone and teeth that is comprised mostly of calcium and phosphorus.

Fluoride is a compound that fills in these bonds in our teeth and actually strengthens them, this appears to not be part of the debate, and is regarded as a pure fact about fluoride. 

The rub though, and this is also fact, is that fluoride is not part of the natural bond, and is not a molecule that makes up hydroxyapatite. 

To sum it up, fluoride does in fact strengthen the bonds, and thus enamel of our teeth, which can help prevent tooth decay, however, it is not a natural part of the bond. 

This much can widely be agreed upon. 

I think it should also be noted that fluoride is not an essential nutrient of any kind, or nutrient at all for that matter, and I think this is where much of the debate lies, as the debate seems to lie in the fact that this non-nutrient, that is not essential to biological function, is added to tap water without our consent.

On the other side, I think the prevailing logic is that adding fluoride to water is an easy way to protect tooth enamel from decay, however, that “easy” route also leaves us with no education then on the actual mineral compound that naturally strengthens tooth enamel, hydroxyapatite, as I’m guessing many of you had never heard of it before reading this. 

I know I had never heard of it until I actually started digging deeper into oral health, with an intent to develop a deeper understanding of what that truly means. 

Why Not Hydroxyapatite?

The debate with adding fluoride to public drinking water seems to be in the elimination of the choice to the public as to whether or not they want to use fluoride as a therapeutic for their teeth. 

After all, that is what fluoride is, a therapeutic, not an actual essential nutrient. 

What I don’t understand then is why doesn’t commercial toothpaste contain the actual essential nutrient for remineralizing your teeth, hydroxyapatite, over fluoride?

Sure fluoride strengthens bonds, that doesn’t seem up for debate, however, what’s also not debatable is that it is NOT the natural chemical that forms bonds, as that is hydroxyapatite.

It seems clear that hydroxyapatite is the preferred compound by the body to strengthen bonds in your teeth as part of the remineralization process. 

Therefore, hydroxyapatite containing oral care products seem to be the obvious choice over fluoride containing products based purely on the fact that HA is the natural compound the body uses in the remineralization process and fluoride is not (a bit of foreshadowing to next week’s final segment on oral health). 

I think it’s also worth noting that highly commercialized fluoride containing toothpastes all have a warning on the back of them to call poison control if swallowed. (Go ahead and check for yourself if you have this toothpaste in your household). 

Now of course, toothpaste isn’t meant to be swallowed, however, it’s probably not a best practice to put anything in your mouth that requires poison control to be contacted if swallowed. 

After some quick research, it does show that even according to the CDC’s website, that toothpaste contains a “much higher concentration of fluoride in toothpaste” than drinking water. 

Could this excessive amount of fluoride also be why it is recommended you contact poison control if swallowed?

Highly likely, which I will dive into in the second part of this segment. 

How Much Fluoride is Too Much?

The short answer is, that is entirely for you to decide. 

For some, any fluoride is too much. 

For others no amount may be considered too much. 

And a fair amount of people probably don’t know enough about fluoride, potential side effects, and standard amounts to have a decided opinion. 

I will try to unpack this a bit more to help arm you in deciding for yourself. 

The amount of fluoride in water that is considered therapeutic for your teeth is 0.7mg/L

However, the EPA allows up to a maximum of 4.0mg/L, which of course, is significantly higher than the amount considered to be therapeutic. 

Some things to consider when determining how much fluoride is too much for you and your family: 

A pretty recent meta analysis (I like meta analyses, as they study a broad range of existing studies to determine conclusions) on the correlation between fluoride consumption and thyroid function and even thyroid diseases did find that excessive fluoride consumption from drinking water does appear to have a negative impact on thyroid function and increasing risk of thyroid diseases. 

What did the study find to be excessive?


Now, let’s refer back to the EPA maximum standards, which allow up to 4.0mg/L, meaning it is allowed for a municipality to have a fluoride concentration in their water that appears to be clinically shown to decrease thyroid function and increase risk of thyroid disease. 

Now, did the government start adding fluoride to our water to overtly lower our IQs?

Most likely not. 

However, that said, there is actually a federal case that is being heard where a federal judge will determine whether or not fluoridated water does pose enough of a risk to the brain development of children that the EPA would need to make drastic changes to their standards. 

And it does appear that there is some research to back up claims that fluoride can negatively impact IQ and development in children. 

Due to some of this research, especially the meta analysis on fluoride and its effect on thyroid health, it is probably worth looking up the fluoride content of your municipality, or if your water is even fluoridated if you regularly drink tap water. 

The CDC has a pretty useful tool called “My Water's Fluoride” to check if your local water is fluoridated, and then if so, what the concentration is. 

Of course, if you do drink tap water regularly, it’s best to filter it before drinking as a general practice as there is far more than just fluoride that makes its way into our public drinking water supply. With respect to fluoride though specifically, filtering should remove fluoride from your water if that is something you want to do. 

I’d also recommend restructuring your water so that it’s back to its original, organic state, as all tap water is heavily processed. To learn more about restructured water CLICK HERE.

A final consideration is weight and overall consumption if trying to be conscious of your fluoride consumption. 

If you drink 10 glasses of fluoridated water per day, versus someone who consumes 3, well, you are consuming significantly more fluoride (assuming both are drinking from the same water supply). 

Weight is also a factor. Someone who weighs 120lbs. versus, someone like myself who is 6’4” and 260lbs, will increase their fluoride concentrations much more quickly than I would (again, assuming we’re both drinking from the same water supply). 


✔️ Fluoride is a molecule that strengthens the bonds in our tooth enamel, and can help prevent tooth decay. 

✔️ Fluoride is not a nutrient, and is not a natural part of the remineralization process. 

✔️ Hydroxyapatite is the natural mineral compound that aids in remineralization. 

✔️ If looking to naturally support remineralization, and thus strengthen the crystal bonds of your teeth, hydroxyapatite containing oral care products should be preferred over fluoridated products. 

✔️ A fluoride concentration of 0.7mg/L is considered to be therapeutic for your teeth, however, the EPA allows a concentration of up to 4.0mg/L in a public water supply. 

✔️ High concentrations of fluoride consumption have been clinically shown to increase risk of thyroid disease, and decrease thyroid function, and could potentially have neurotoxic effects that could affect brain development. 

Everyone will have a last day with you. 

Let that one sink in for a bit…

Almost every single person you interact with, they, and you, won’t know when that last day is. 

Each and every interaction could be the last one.

If you knew today was your last day, or someone else’s, how would you interact with them, or with others if it was your last day?

A relatively common theme in these “Meditations” is facing our own mortality, and as I am merely sharing with you things I am pondering on, my mortality is something I think about a lot. 

Not in a morbid way. 

Rather quite the opposite. 

I wake up every day with an immense amount of gratitude for the one thing I have at that very moment….the day. 

Nothing more is promised.

Starting your day with this thinking and approach as your default invigorates the soul.  

In fact, it’s the biggest motivator for me to live a healthy lifestyle as well. 

I don’t know about you, but I want a lot more of these days, which means more time with loved ones, and living a healthier lifestyle will directly impact the likelihood that I have more of these days, and improve the quality of life in those days I live. 

Gratitude is a mental, or emotional muscle that builds like any other muscle, through training. 

Through practice and repetition. 

I never know when it will be my last day here on Earth, and by approaching every day with the acknowledgment that this could be my last, over time, I build that Gratitude muscle. 

And with that, my interactions with everyone I come into contact with, not just friends and loved ones, become more and more positive. 

And those positive interactions, when compounded over time, (because it’s highly unlikely that today is your last day on Earth) lead to more joy and overall happiness. 

This falls into the category of “simple, not easy”. 

The answer is simple, live with more Gratitude, and I mean true Gratitude for the gift that is the day you have in front of you, and you will live with more joy, happiness, and fulfillment. 

Sure, the answer is simple, but the application is not easy. 

It requires effort, day in and day out, just like anyone trying to train their body. 

It requires self-awareness to call yourself out when you’ve lost perspective. 

That’s definitely not easy. 

But the effort is worth it. 

If today was your last day, how would you interact with others?