Fluoride is commonly added to the water supply, and many have been brainwashed into believing fluoride is necessary for dental health and bone maintenance. However, the exact opposite is true. While evidence exists to show that fluoride may provide some benefit as a topical adjunct, it is by no means meant to be consumed and is definitely not without risks. 
How Am I Exposed to Fluoride?
Fluoride is a chemical element naturally present in the environment. During the late 1940s and throughout the 1950s, public health officials began fluoridating drinking water. It’s added to the water supply and dental products like toothpaste and mouth rinse. It’s almost impossible to avoid if you don’t use a water purification device that specifically filters it out.
It’s important to consider all the potential resources that utilize tap water. If you frequently eat at restaurants, it’s a solid bet that their kitchen doesn’t use fluoride-free water. Beverage manufacturers all rely on municipal water systems to produce soda, juice, and smoothies – all of which contain added fluoride. Even coffee from the local coffee shop! When you add these up, you can begin to appreciate the high level of fluoride in the average person’s diet.
Symptoms of Fluoride Exposure
Fluoride exposure can cause a number of symptoms; some minor, some severe. Excess salivation is one indication of overexposure to fluoride. Fluorosis, a condition which impedes the function of the ameloblasts in the mouth, hinders the development of the enamel matrix and is another concern; its most common symptom is yellowing of the teeth.  It’s not a concern of “not brushing enough,” and simply cleaning the teeth or performing whitening treatments won’t correct the concern. Fluoride can cause other, more serious issues as well such as calcification of the pineal gland and can get in the way of the thyroid’s ability to absorb iodine.
How to Avoid Fluoride
Avoiding fluoride is tricky, but can be done with the appropriate measures. First, you need to cut it off at the source. Avoid tap water and avoid products that use it. Invest in a water purification device or system that removes, among other things, fluoride. Second, only purchase natural, fluoride-free toothpastes and mouthwash.
Of course, education is also key. I recommend checking out the documentary, Fluoride: Poison on Tap. It really explains the magnitude of the fluoride situation and I was even fortunate enough to be a part of it.
Have you had negative reactions to fluoride exposure? What have you done to remedy the concern? Leave a comment below and share your thoughts and tips with us.
- Hellwig E, Lennon AM. Systemic versus topical fluoride. Caries Res. 2004 May-Jun;38(3):258-62.
- Ismail Al, Hasson H. Fluoride supplements, dental caries and fluorosis: a systematic review. J Am Dent Assoc. 2008 Nov;139(11):1457-68.
†Results may vary. Information and statements made are for education purposes and are not intended to replace the advice of your doctor. If you have a severe medical condition or health concern, see your physician.