Does Your Water Have Fluoride? Is Fluoride Safe In Drinking Water?
As a mineral, fluoride is quite common in most water sources, fresh and sea water included. Underground sources like boreholes and wells have higher concentrations of fluoride.
The total fluoride concentration in seawater is estimated at 1.3 mg/liter, while the concentration in well water is estimated at 10 milligrams per liter. Fluoride found in human teeth and bones, and its benefits to dental health are well-documented. It’s for this reason fluoride is so prevalent in toothpaste and other dental related treatments.
How Fluoride Finds Its Way To Drinking Water?
There are several ways that fluoride gets its way into well and municipal water. First, there is a useful amount of fluoride in municipal water that’s added through fluoridation. It’s added to reduce tooth decay among the people who use it.
Fluoride added to water through fluoridation doesn’t affect the appearance, taste, and smell of water. As with wells, fluoride enters into the water naturally. Since fluoride occurs naturally in the form of fluorine, it’s quite common in groundwater and it can be in the recommended levels or higher.
What’s The Recommended Amount Of Fluoride In Water?
Community water fluoridation should be maintained at 0.7mg/L for it to offer preventative benefits. Drinking water fluoridated at 0.7mg/l is always useful for improving dental health and reducing dental fluorosis problems.
Giving your kids fluoridated water helps optimize their intake of fluoride. Brushing teeth with toothpaste with high fluoride contents is also a great way to improve dental health.
Are There Benefits To Drinking Fluoridated Water?
When you take fluoride in the recommended amounts, you’re sure to enjoy a variety of health benefits. Here are some well-documented benefits of drinking water with fluoride.
1. Reduces Issues With Tooth Decay
Tooth decay is a major problem among small kids. Studies indicate that dental-related issues result in the loss of more than 164 million work hours and 51 million school hours each year. Getting municipal water fluoridated helps minimize tooth decay in adults and kids.
2. Reduce Cavity Problems Among People Of All Ages
It’s said that the fluoride present in municipal water systems reduces tooth decay and cavities among adults and children by up to 25%.
3. Super Safe And Effective
Several scientific pieces of evidence back the safety and effectiveness of municipal water fluoridation. Hundreds of health organizations have provided valid evidence regarding the benefits of water fluoridation in preventing dental decay.
Among these organizations include the World Health Organization, the American Academy of Pediatrics, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the American Medical Association.
4. It’s Natural And Healthy
Fluoride occurs naturally in oceans and groundwater. Fluoridation is all about adjusting the fluoride levels in water to make it safe for human use and help prevent dental decay.
5. Saves People Money
Handling dental problems cost people, a good chunk of money daily. We all pay when it comes to treating dental problems. This is through higher taxes and health insurance premiums. It’s proven and confirmed that dental filling costs more than the lifetime cost of fluoridating water per person.
Common Ways You Can Consume Fluoride
Fluoride enters the human body either through swallowing or topical application. You can eat it in foods or consume it through water or other fluoridated drinks.
- Fluoridated water - most countries around the world add fluoride to municipal water supplies. For example, countries such as Australia, US, UK fluoridate the water channeled to communal water lines. The fluoridated water in the US is made up of 0.7 parts per million.
- Fluoride supplements - another common way fluoride enters drinking water is through the addition of supplements. Fluoride supplements come in the form of tablets or drops and are suitable for kids over six months old who live in non-fluoridated areas and are at risk of getting cavities.
- Foods - processing of some foods involve using fluoridated water. Other foods absorb fluoride during their early stages of growth from the soil. For instance, tea leaves have a high content of fluoride. Taking foods that are rich in fluoride is one suitable way to consume fluoride in safe qualities.
- Groundwater - fluoride occurs naturally as a mineral. That’s why groundwater is very high in fluoride. Some mineral waters contain up to 0.3 ppm, while others contain incredibly high levels, which can cause various health problems.
- Dental care products - fluoride can be taken through using dental products. Most dental care products, including mouth rinses and toothpaste, are added with fluoride.
Is Fluoride Bad?
Fluoride is not harmful if taken in the right quantities. However, when taken in extreme, fluoride can trigger serious health problems. Based on an all-encompassing report issued by the National Research Council in 2006, it was discovered that giving kids foods and drinks high in fluorides increase the risk of them developing severe dental fluorosis.
Fluoride is not a hundred percent safe, especially when taken in high content, it may have some health effects. Always research the fluoride content in the water you are drinking to avoid exposing yourself to an extreme health effect.
Are There Health Effects Of Taking Water With Fluoride?
Extreme consumption of water with high fluoride content isn’t good for your health. Clinical tests have confirmed that when taken in excess, fluoride can cause dental fluorosis. Dental fluorosis is a common disease found with kids below eight years.
It’s not a real threat in the modern-day world. However, it affects the cosmetic look of your teeth by leaving white spots or streaks on tooth enamel. The Centers for Disease Control and World Health Organization are still researching more about fluoride to know about its health effects.
Based on the World Health Organization, when your intake water that has more fluoride than the recommended amount, you’re at risk of suffering from skeletal and tooth fluorosis. These are several health problems that can leave you with weak teeth or bones, thyroid gland damaging, or joint impairment. Also, extreme water fluoridation increases the potential for bone cancer.
How To Get Rid And Minimize Exposure To Extreme Fluoride?
In this era and world, it’s not possible to avoid consuming fluoride. Even if you don’t like it, you will find yourself drinking, eating, or using products that have fluoride infused.
Since you cannot avoid, it’s best to know how to get rid of the already bio-accumulated fluoride. For those who would rather avoid than bear the consequences, the best thing to do is to increase your intake of the alkaline diet. Higher alkaline means lower fluoride.
Taking tamarind tea, high-selenium foods, and exercising more can also help reduce your consumption of fluoride. Here are simple ways to detoxify or remove extreme fluoride in the body.
- Drinking distilled water - distillation works to remove different sorts of minerals, fluoride include. If you are consuming more minerals by taking supplements, vegetables, and mineral water, distilled water can help equalize the equation. Choose water distillation systems that can distill water efficiently. Water with a pH of 7 or higher is highly recommended as it minimizes cavity.
- Filtering water - getting the water filtered is ideal for minimizing fluoride levels. Consider high-quality filters that use filtering technologies like deionizers, activated alumina, and reverse osmosis to help lower fluoride levels in tap water. You’ve to know which filter to use as some don’t have the features and mechanisms required to remove fluorides.
- Avoiding processed foods - consuming processed foods can increase the levels of fluoride in your body. Since processed foods are created by the use of fluoridated water, they include high fluoride content. By minimizing your intake of boxed foods, you support oral health and reduce fluoride intake.
- Use bottled water spring water - based on FDA guidelines, bottled water containing fluoride should be labeled. Springwater bottles have very fluoride content though some brands have extreme levels. Before you choose any bottled water, you’ve to confirm with the supplier to know if the fluoride content isn’t more than 0.2 ppm. You can quickly know the fluoride content in bottled water by calling the number offered in the bottle label.
- Avoid fluoridated salt - for those who reside in countries where the sale of fluoridated salt is allowed, always confirm to be sure you are not buying fluoridated salt. When you use salt with high fluoride contents, you are exposing yourself to more fluoride, which may not be suitable for your health.
Fluoride occurs organically, so it’s so prevalent in most water bodies. The water you get from wells, boreholes, rivers, and lakes have some fluoride content. Boreholes and well water is known to be extremely high in fluoride, so it may not be safe for drinking.
River and lake water is not so high in fluoride. As with bottled and spring water, you will find some brands that add fluoride to the water while others don’t. No matter the source of your drinking water, always make sure you aren’t taking more fluoride than you should.
Getting the municipal tap water tested is the best thing you can do to determine the quantity of fluoride presence. As for bottled water, you can enquire from the manufacturer to know the content of fluoride.