Fluoridated water; boon or bane?

I believe that my cavity-free teeth are largely due to the fact that I grew up on fluoride pills, and I am most grateful to my parents for that blessing. I’m not sure how young I was when the fluoride was started, but the dosage increased gradually as I got older, probably based on my bodyweight. And at some point, the dentist told my parents to stop giving me the pills, and they did. Because of the wonderful result I personally had with taking fluoride, the controversy over fluoridated water confused me. I didn’t understand why certain communities were fighting so hard to stop their water from being fluoridated, when obviously it does such a wonderful job of preventing tooth decay. So, here is the argument against. You decide.

Fluorine must be put into water in the form of a compound, as alone it is very reactive. So the question becomes, what kind of fluoride is being put in your water? Calcium fluoride is naturally found in water, but that form is very difficult for the body to absorb, and probably wouldn’t do much to help our teeth. Sodium fluoride is much more absorbable by the body, but that may not be the form that is put in municipal water supplies because it is more expensive than other alternatives. It is possible that municipalities are using silicofluorides, as they are far cheaper. This type of fluoride could be a problem, as it is a toxic waste from phosphate fertilizer pollution scrubbers and it contains arsenic, mercury, lead and beryllium. Unfortunately, even if you chose to avoid drinking the water or washing your produce in it, you would absorb the toxins through your skin in the bath or shower, as well as in juice or food such as canned soup that is made with fluoridated water.

And then there is the question of dosage. If fluoride is put into the water supply, there is no control over the amount people drink or absorb through their skin. Young children may get far too much fluoride for their body-size and weight, and infants being fed formula mixed with water may be getting 100 to 200 times the fluoride that breast-fed babies are getting. Fluorine is a toxic substance and it is bio-accumulative. There is some evidence that fluoride can be damaging to the development of an infant’s brain, and babies in general are much more vulnerable to environmental toxins. Dental fluorosis, a condition that damages to the cells that form the teeth and makes them yellow and mottled, is also linked to bone fractures, possibly bone cancer, a lowering of fertility and IQ, and it seems to increase the uptake of aluminum. And it is now known that fluoride works best when topically applied, such as in toothpaste, so the question becomes, "is it ethical to force a population to ingest fluoride without their permission considering the risks?" It may be wise to tell your children not to eat or swallow fluoridated toothpaste, particularly if your water is fluoridated, as they may be getting too much.

And then there are the mounting studies that show that tooth decay is declining as quickly in those that have had no exposure to fluoride. In fact, in New Zealand, children with no water fluoridation, no fluoridated toothpaste, and no fluoride applied to teeth at the dentist have slightly better teeth than those who were exposed to fluoride. Could it be that a good quality diet may be what makes for good teeth? It is interesting to note that water fluoridation is not approved by the FDA, and the AMA "is not prepared to state that no harm will be done to any person by water fluoridation."

So, what do you think? Should our water be fluoridated or not? And if you live in a community that has fluoridated water, and you decide that this is something you don’t want, what can you do? Most water filters do not remove fluoride, so read your filter labels carefully. Reverse osmosis apparently does, but this can be expensive. Here is an example of a company that focuses on filtering fluoride, should you feel you need to. Just be certain that the filter you choose also filters out heavy metals, chlorine, benzene, pesticides etc. And if you don’t want to use fluoridated toothpaste either, here is sea salt / baking soda alternative that is apparently very good at removing the bacteria and parasites that causes plaque formation.

Related tips:
Mercury, a strong nerve poison

Colquhoun, John, Why I changed my mind about water fluoridation Fluoride 31(2) 1998, pp 103-118.
Connett, Dr. Paul, Should our drinking water be fluoridated? Ecologist Online 01/12/2004.
Glasser, George, The Dentist’s Tale Online @ www.mercola.com
Online @ Fluoride Action Network
Colquhoun, John, Fluorides and the decline in tooth decay in New Zealand Fluoride 26 125-134, 1993.
Treasure ET et al. The prevalence of caries in 5-year old children living in fluoridated and non-fluoridated communities in New Zealand New Zealand Dental Journal 88, 9-13 1992.
Diesendorf M. The mystery of declining tooth decay Nature 322 125-129, 1986.
Price, Weston A. Nutrition and Physical Degeneration Heuber, New York, 1939.
Jacobsen et al. The association between water fluoridation and hip fracture among white women and men aged 65 years and older. A national ecologic study Annals of Epidemiology 2 617-626, 1992.
Sowers et al. A prospective study of bone mineral content and fracture in communities with differential fluoride exposure American Journal of Epidemiology 133 649-660, 1991.
Jacqmin-Gadda H. et al. Fluorine concentration in drinking water and fractures in the elderly Journal of the American Medical Association 273 775-776, 1995.



  1. Rebecca Cody said,

    September 25, 2011 @ 10:33 am


    Here’s another option, one that seems to work miracles for people who wish to whiten their teeth, improve problem gums, and keep their teeth clean with natural products. You can buy it, but at a very high price, and it’s easy to make.

    Tooth Soap

    2 tablespoons boiling water
    4 teaspoons Dr. Bronner’s soap – any flavor. Peppermint, anyone?
    1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
    Stevia to taste, or xylitol, which is a sugar that is supposed to help prevent cavities

    Blend all this in a food processor or blender until it becomes frothy. It will take a little doing, but you can now put it into a small pump jar, using a funnel. It takes just a bit on your tooth brush.

  2. Rebecca Cody said,

    September 25, 2011 @ 10:38 am

    Oops! I forgot to make a second comment. You’ve talked about this in other posts, if I remember correctly. Fluorine (and bromine) compete with iodine in the body. Since they are smaller molecules, they go into the iodine receptors, squeezing out the iodine we need in every cell, especially the thyroid. That reason alone is enough for me to turn down fluoride in any form.

  3. Vreni said,

    September 25, 2011 @ 12:36 pm

    This is fantastic – thank you so much for this!

  4. Leslie Appling said,

    September 26, 2011 @ 5:37 pm

    Hi Vreni,

    I just wanted to say thanks for this article. As is usually the case, I feel considerably more informed after having read it, and I REALLY appreciate understanding this issue better!

    I frequently forward your ezine to my friends. So………..I’m feeling very grateful for how much I’ve learned from you over the last few years, and also for how much I VALUE that education!


  5. Vreni said,

    September 27, 2011 @ 1:30 am

    You are welcome, Leslie!

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