Whether or not fluoride should be in the water we drink is a topic of contention. 73% of the US population receives fluoridated water through the community water systems. So the big question is, do we need water enriched with fluoride, and is fluoride good or bad?
In this article, we’ll take a look at everything you need to know about fluoride in water.
What Is Fluoride?
Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral that appears in soil, water, plants, teeth and bones, and even air! It is most commonly used in dentistry because it strengthens the enamel of teeth and helps prevent cavities.
In addition to its esteemed place in the field of dentistry, fluoride is also used in pesticides and as a cleaning agent. As you can imagine, there are two camps when it comes to putting fluoride in water.
Why Is Fluoride in Water?
All water, except purified and distilled water, naturally contains fluoride. However, additional fluoride is added to drinking water in several countries. About 5% of the world’s population receives fluoridated water, and more people are drinking it in the US than in the rest of the world combined!
The sole reason is that additional fluoride can help to reduce tooth decay. While most public experts believe that there are no risks posed to your health from water fluoridation, there are others who blame water fluoridation for several health problems.
The Potential Risks of Putting Fluoride in Water
Long-term exposure to high amounts of fluoride has been linked to skeletal fluorosis. This is where fluoride builds up in the bones and can lead to joint pain and stiffness. In later life, this can even lead to weak and fractured bones.
Excess fluoride can also damage the parathyroid gland. This can lead to elevated calcium levels in the blood and reduced calcium in bone structures. This can lead to weaker bones, kidney stones, and even interfere with how your brain and heart work.
Fluoride is also documented as a neurotoxin. Along with arsenic, lead, and other industrial chemicals, fluoride was flagged as being potentially hazardous to child development.
What Should I Do About Fluoride?
If you’re worried about the presence of fluoride in your drinking water, then help is at hand. Fluoride is naturally present in almost everything we eat and drink in trace amounts. But if the water supply to your home is fluoridated, hope is not lost.
Bottled purified drinking water can be expensive if you try to use it for everything other than just drinking. Instead, you can fit a water filter to your home water supply. This will eliminate fluoride and other unwanted elements commonly found in drinking water. Click to find out more.
Fluoride, the Verdict
While fluoride in water is largely considered safe, the potential health risks of prolonged exposure to high levels of fluoride have raised concerns. It is impossible to completely avoid fluoride, and it still has its place in dental care.
However, if you’re still worried about consuming too much fluoride, then adding a water filter to your home water system can help to put your mind at rest.
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