The Hidden Truth About Fluoride

We recognize that opinions on fluoride vary widely among individuals and healthcare providers. Based on our research and the resources listed at the end of this blog, this blog presents our perspective and beliefs on the subject.

Has the warning on your toothpaste tube ever concerned you? Many toothpaste tubes come with a stark warning: “Warning: Keep out of reach of children under 6 years of age. If you accidentally swallow more than used for brushing, get medical help or contact a Poison Control Center right away.” This raises an important question: What exactly is fluoride, and why are there such stringent warnings about its use?

What is Fluoride?

Fluoride is the anion of the element fluorine and is formed when fluorine, a highly reactive and electronegative halogen, gains an electron. Fluoride is one of the most abundant elements in nature, with water being the major dietary source. It naturally occurs in various minerals like fluorite (calcium fluoride) and fluorapatite and is present in trace amounts in water, soil, plants, and animals. Interestingly, fluoride’s use in water fluoridation has its roots in industrial waste management, serving as a byproduct of industries such as aluminum production and phosphate fertilizer manufacturing.

Concerns about fluoride date back to the early 20th century and gained significant attention during and after World War II. Fluorine was used in the production of the atomic bomb, and its association with industrial pollution and public health risks sparked early debates and public outcry over its use. Initially, the public health service opposed adding fluoride to water supplies, but this stance was reversed in 1950, leading to widespread controversy and citizen backlash. Since the 1950s, organized opposition from scientists and public health advocates has raised concerns about fluoride’s potential health risks and its ties to industrial pollution. Evidence has only recently surfaced that prenatal exposure to certain fluoridated chemicals is dangerous, even fatal affecting the development of the brain, thyroid, and the metabolic system 

How Much Fluoride Does the Average Person Ingest?

The amount of fluoride the average person ingests varies based on factors such as water consumption, dietary sources, medications, and dental products. Fluoride intake can vary significantly based on individual habits and local water fluoride levels. Here’s a breakdown:

  • Drinking Water: In areas where the water supply is fluoridated at the recommended level of 0.7 mg/L, the daily fluoride intake from drinking water alone can be approximately 1.4 mg per day, assuming an average water consumption of 2 liters per day.
  • Dietary Sources: Foods and beverages made with fluoridated water contribute additional fluoride, generally estimated at 0.3 to 0.6 mg per day.
  • Dental Products: Toothpaste and mouth rinses are common sources of fluoride. While ingestion from these products is minimal for adults, children might ingest more if they swallow toothpaste.
  • Other Sources: Some medications and air pollution sources also contribute small amounts of fluoride.

The average daily fluoride intake for an adult in the United States is estimated to be 1.6 to 3.2 mg per day. Health authorities recommend fluoride intake levels that maximize dental health benefits while minimizing risks such as dental fluorosis, with the optimal intake generally considered to be around 0.05 mg/kg/day, varying with age, weight, and other factors.

Health Concerns

Excess fluoride exposure is associated with various adverse health effects. It is known to affect thyroid function, potentially leading to thyroid disease. Studies have linked fluoride exposure to health problems such as dental fluorosis, bone disorders, and potential neurotoxicity. Concerns about prenatal exposure to fluoride have emerged, suggesting that it can affect the development of the brain, thyroid, and metabolic system, leading to decreased IQ in children, similar to the effects of lead.

While fluoride in small amounts can help prevent tooth decay by strengthening tooth enamel and aiding in the remineralization of early stages of tooth decay, excessive intake can lead to dental fluorosis (discoloration of teeth) and skeletal fluorosis (a condition affecting bones). Additionally, fluoride can calcify the pineal gland, lower melatonin production, and potentially disrupt hormone cycles. 

How to Take Action

Educating yourself about fluoride is the first step. In Europe, for example, over 97% of the population does not consume fluoridated water, with countries like Austria, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Finland opting out due to ethical, medical, and environmental concerns. Test and research where your water and food come from. Use water filtration systems to clean your water from fluoride and other harmful materials. 

Additionally, you can use toothpaste and mouthwash without fluoride to decrease your exposure to fluoride even more. Ask your doctor what makes up some of your medications. You can also take iodine to help absorb and expel fluoride from your body. Boron can help detoxify fluoride by forming complexes with fluoride ions, facilitating their excretion. Boron-rich foods include apples, pears, nuts, and leafy vegetables. Tamarind is another option to use to increase the excretion of fluoride through urine. 

At Reclaim Dentistry, we view fluoride as a toxin that disrupts calcification in bones and teeth, interferes with thyroid function, and stresses the immune system. Our stance is clear: We advocate for diet and hygiene first. Over-the-counter fluoride use is acceptable, and prescription fluoride should be reserved for high-risk individuals such as the elderly. We are committed to raising awareness about fluoride and its potential health risks. We encourage you to make informed decisions about your fluoride intake and prioritize your health and well-being.