Soap to Brush Your Teeth?

By W. Gifford-Jones, M.D.
Created: January 30, 2011 Last Updated: February 2, 2011
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SCRUB THOSE CHOPPERS: Brushing your teeth with soap is safer than using fluoridated toothpaste. (

SCRUB THOSE CHOPPERS: Brushing your teeth with soap is safer than using fluoridated toothpaste. (

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 article.

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 their teeth with soap? But Dr. Gerald F. Judd is no nut. He’s an emeritus professor of chemistry at Purdue University.

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

Dr. Judd reports that acid destroys enamel and that 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 that bacteria cannot damage the tooth’s hard outer enamel that is composed of hydroxylapatite. 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 with teeth still intact after hundreds of years.

But why use soap to clean teeth? Judd says glycerin is present in all toothpastes, and it’s so sticky that it requires 27 washes to clean it off. This means that teeth remain coated with a film and cannot rebuild enamel. And if teeth are not clean, adenosine diphosphatase (ADP) cannot provide phosphate to enamel.

His next point is what I wanted to hear. Brushing with soap destroys bacteria and viruses. No professor at 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 enamel.

Removing plaque from teeth is vital, as plaque 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 percent of North Americans over 43 and 42 percent of those over 65 have no teeth!

Dr. Judd also believes that the fluoride used in water and in toothpaste is a dangerous biological poison. He says calcium fluoride seeps into enamel, making it weak and brittle, and destroys 83 enzymes along with ADP.

I couldn’t agree more. Look at the warning on fluoride toothpaste. Parents are told to watch children under 6 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 3-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 that 98 percent of Europe is fluoride-free? Sweden, Germany, Norway, Holland, Denmark, and France stopped water fluoridation 29 years ago. These are not backward, depressed nations.

The sole argument for fluoridation is that 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 3 should never use fluoridated toothpaste or drink fluoridated water, and mothers should never use Toronto tap water to prepare baby formula.        

Will I practice what I’ve preached in this article? 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.

Dr. Gifford-Jones is a medical journalist with a private medical practice in Toronto.

His website is He may be contacted at


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