It’s what happens when you choose to live according to values and beliefs that are not those of mainstream culture. Choosing to think for yourself rather than allowing authority figures to make your decisions for you is a surefire way to face passive aggressive or in your face discrimination regularly. We encounter it all the time, because we are home learners, because we question vaccine safety, because 3 out of 4 of us are vegetarian and don’t eat processed food, because we practice natural preventative medicine, and today because we use natural toothpaste.
This afternoon, a routine trip to the dentist turned out to be an antagonistic, stressful event. This is bound to happen when you can’t find a holistic dentist in your area and you are a parent who has made the informed decision not to expose your children to fluoride. When our daughter told her dentist that she would rather brush with plain water than use a toothpaste the dentist admonished her to always (always!) brush with toothpaste, Crest or Colgate preferably. When our daughter told her dentist that she doesn’t want to have sweeteners in her toothpaste, the good doctor vehemently argued that toothpaste did not have sugar– guess saccharin is ok though? The dentist also made sure to tell our daughter to try and eat healthy foods and drink lots of water, making sure I overheard her. It must be noted that as a family who doesn’t buy processed food, drinks water not juice, and eats organic produce, we had this one covered, but thanks doc. Good to know!
Now if we were typical mainstream parents who didn’t refuse the fluoride treatment option, and who swore up and down on the Proctor and Gamble bible that we always brush our teeth with Crest, well it would have been an all smiles, happy dentist day. Instead it felt like an attack on our beliefs, values, and quite frankly our intelligence. The minute the dentist asked what grade G was in and she didn’t respond (because we don’t do ‘grades’) and I had to fill in that oh, we are home learners, there was a distinct shift in tone. As an aside, why is it that they only question an adult ever asks a child has to do with ‘how is school’ or ‘what grade are you in’. And when they get their answer they feel content that they now know everything about that child.
Back on topic though, what is frightening is that people are not informed, and that a parent who actually takes the time to examine research from many sources is regarded as misinformed or ignorant. We are supposed to accept that our doctors and our dentists are authorities and question them not. Well the fact is that while medical and dental professionals are expert at medical and dental procedures, they are absolutely not experts on the effects of toxic substances on the human body whether through toothpaste, vaccines, treated water or food. Most doctors receive less than one week of education during their entire time at medical school on the subject of vaccination, and any new information they receive comes to them from the pharmaceutical companies and drug reps. Dentists are absolutely not authorities on how much fluoride can cause increases in bone cancer rates and thyroid problems. They are dentists, not scientists after all. Some may not even know that toothpaste is not necessary for good dental hygiene– simply brushing with water or water and plain old baking soda is just fine and even recommended by some dentists, because it’s the abrasive scrubbing action that prevents plaque build up.
So we continually swim upstream, against our conformist culture that is content to listen to so-called experts and authorities who are often manipulated themselves by parties with incongruent interests. Ignorance is truly bliss, and it would be so much easier to just let ourselves go with the mainstream flow, however it increasingly appears that if we did our lifestyle would be more in line with what most benefits government and corporations rather than our children. No one else in this world cares more about them then we do, as their parents. So why is it so hard to believe that we might actually know what’s best for them? Parents are too afraid to trust their instincts and their intelligence anymore, because they’ve been told they know nothing if an authority figure doesn’t validate it for them.
It makes life a little harder, and it’s stressful, and sometimes it gets overwhelming, but once you have opened that box you just can’t close it again. What keeps me hopeful and willing to continue on, along with my love for my children, is that more and more people are opening the box of information and knowledge and maybe eventually no one will be able to close it on us again.