In the United States, approximately 70 percent of the water supply is treated with chemical fluoride. This practice is in stark contrast to the majority of developed countries in the world where they do not add fluoride to their water source. Many places, where high levels of fluoridated water are present, have seen an increase in health problems. Research shows that contrary to previous belief, fluoridation is causing more harm than good.
What Is Fluoride?
According to the FDA, fluoride is categorized as a medicine when it is used to prevent disease. Therefore, it is the only medicine we, as a society, are forced to consume.
Fluoride is an ionic compound containing fluorine, naturally found in rocks. Once in the body, fluoride is absorbed through the digestive track and able to travel into the bloodstream; collecting in areas of high calcium like teeth and bones. There are several different types of fluoride. As I have discussed in previous articles, the fluoride added to most water supplies in the U.S. is FLUOROSILICIC ACID, a toxic by-product scrubbed from the chimneys of phosphate fertilizer factories.
Why Is Fluoride Used In Water Supplies?
It was previously thought that fluoride was necessary to help prevent tooth decay. The addition of fluoride started in 1951 when the United States Public Health Service recommended that public water supplies have fluoride added. Recent reports have shown that other sources supply the average American with fluoride now and that the recommended levels added to drinking water should be updated to reflect this change.
What Are The Risks Of Fluoridation?
This condition is caused by longterm over-exposure to fluoride in drinking water. Dental fluorosis causes the breakdown of tooth enamel. Characteristics include white streaks or opaque areas on teeth as well as dark brown or stained spots. According to the CDC, the prevalence of dental fluorosis is higher among teenagers than any other age category and those ages 12-15 had the highest percentage of prevalence (40.6%) when compared to other age groups.
Effect On Body Organs
The assumption that fluoride will only affect the teeth when ingested is false. In fact, in a scientific review by The Fluoride Action Network, it demonstrates how fluoride is an endocrine disruptor that can affect much more than just your teeth when ingested. Tissues such as your brain, thyroid, bones, and pineal gland can be greatly harmed from overexposure to fluoride. Brain damage, memory loss, arthritis, cell damage or death have all been linked to overexposure of fluoride.
Long-term exposure to fluoride can cause the chemical to build up in joints and bones, causing stiffness and pain. This is especially prevalent in older adults with lower levels of calcium present that can lead to fractures and weak bones.
Does Ingesting Fluoride Help Build Healthy Teeth?
No! Swallowing fluoride provides little (to no) benefit to the body or teeth. It has been proven that fluoride is best as a topical application, not systemic. Therefore ingesting fluoride does not benefit the body. This is why many types of toothpaste have added fluoride. It is therefore unnecessary, and perhaps immoral, to force the public to ingest fluoride against their will through the water source. Countries with fluoridation practices do not show any significant differences in tooth decay when compared to countries that reject fluoridation in their water supply.
Do Babies Need Fluoride?
It was previously believed and recommended by health officials that parents should give fluoride to newborn babies. Today, the theory behind this has been proven false and hazardous for children. The Institute of Medicine recommends that babies consume a tiny amount (10 micrograms) of fluoride per day. This is the equivalent to what they would consume through their mother’s breast milk. However, bottle-fed babies are ingesting much more fluoride than recommended because the formula is prepared from fluoridated water sources. Studies show that babies who are given fluoridated water in their formula develop higher rates of dental fluorosis. It can also be harmful to their brain development and actually cause reduced IQ.
Reducing Your Fluoride Exposure
The studies and research done to show the dangers of fluoridation are increasing. It is frightening that even 60 years after the fluoridation initiative, proper studies have not shown any significant benefits. Natural levels of fluoride in water sources are minimal and the action of adding fluoride to public water sources has been under high amounts of scrutiny. It is important to gather the truth. Protect yourself and your family against potential fluoride overexposure. Here are some tips on how to reduce your exposure to fluoride:
Tip #1: Know the fluoride levels in your area drinking water
Contact the local community water system to obtain records of the levels of fluoride used in the public water source. Another possibility is to contact the EPA’s Safe Drinking Water Hotline at 1-800-426-4791 for more general information. If the local water is from a well, a reputable laboratory can test it.
Tip #2: Find an alternative source if levels are high
For those that live in an area where drinking water fluoride levels are high, consider an alternate drinking water source. Some varieties of bottled water can still have fluoride. Varieties of spring water are known for having the least, often times being much less than the local sources. Reverse osmosis, distillation, and activated alumina filtration are three of the only ways to remove fluoride from water.
Tip #3: Monitor children’s use of toothpaste
Making sure that children are not overusing toothpaste or other mouthwash with high levels of fluoride will help to decrease the amount of exposure. The CDC recommends a pea-sized amount while brushing and to make sure children are not swallowing. Better yet, use fluoride-free toothpaste.
Most dental caries and gum disease can be avoided by: proper brushing of teeth three times a day, proper flossing two times a day, a largely unprocessed diet (limit refined sugar), and proper vitamin and mineral supplementation. For vitamin and mineral supplementation for children, I recommend Diamond Nutritional’s Children’s Foundation Formula.
Another resource you can learn from is this DIY Guide to Natural Bathroom Products by Homemade Gifts Made Easy. This article is packed with helpful recipes for homemade, natural soap, face wash, toothpaste and more.
Tip #4: Reduce other exposure from food sources
Many people believe that fluoride is only in our drinking water. However, food that is made with fluoridated water also contains fluoride. Soft drinks, commercial milk, and processed food contain much higher levels than foods such as fresh fruit and vegetables which have relatively low naturally occurring levels. The key is eating UNPROCESSED foods and it will help to reduce exposure to fluoridated water sources all together.