Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral that is released from rocks into the soil, air, and water. For 75 years, people in the United States have been drinking water with added fluoride in an effort to promote better oral health. While all water contains some fluoride, normally, the fluoride level in water is not high enough to successfully prevent tooth decay. Water systems across communities that contain enough fluoride to protect teeth serve more than 73% of the US population. Many research studies have proven the benefits of fluoridation of water but adding fluoride to water can come with some drawbacks. This article will discuss both the positive and negative effects of fluoride in your water and what you can do to remove it if you choose to do so.
Positive Effects of Fluoride in Water
The main benefit of fluoride is strong teeth and better oral health. Fluoride benefits both adults and children throughout their lives. For children under the age of 8, fluoride helps strengthen the adult/permanent teeth that are developing under the gums. For adults, water with added fluoride supports tooth enamel and reduces bacteria which ensures that teeth remain strong and healthy. The health benefits of fluoride on teeth include but are not limited to fewer cavities, less severe cavities, and less needs for teeth removal and fillings. In addition to direct oral health benefits, fluoridation of public water has been shown to save money for both families and the healthcare system.
Negative Effects of Fluoride in Water
While fluoride does provide a multitude of oral health benefits, there are some negative effects to water fluoridation. Many groups are campaigning for the discontinuation of fluoride additives. Members of these organizations are asserting that:
- Up to 40% of adolescent children have one or more observable signs of dental “fluorosis” which is a condition that indicates excessive fluoride exposure
- Once added to the water supply, there is no way of controlling the concentration of fluoride an individual receives (The Department of Health and Human Services suggests a limit of 0.7 ppm)
- Fluoride is known to have toxic properties even at low doses
- Many children exceed the daily fluoride intake recommendations from toothpaste alone
- Fluoride accumulation is known to make bones brittle and prone to fracture
- Fluoridation may be detrimental to the environment since 99% of our water supply is not used for drinking
- Water fluoridation may increase the risk for developing hypothyroidism (under active thyroid)
Due to the fact that increased fluoride intake is presenting new negative health effects such as fluorosis and hyperthyroidism, some households are deciding to remove fluoride from their water altogether.
How to Remove Fluoride from Water
One of the most effective and practical methods of removing fluoride and other unwanted particles from your water is to install a reverse osmosis drinking water system. Reverse osmosis is a dependable multi-stage filtration system that is capable of removing up to 97% of all dissolved minerals from your water. Contact Culligan today and choose between our two RO Systems: The Aquasential Smart Reverse Osmosis Water Filter and the Aquasential Tankless Reverse Osmosis Filter System. A Culligan expert can help you decide which system is right for your home!