About 70 percent of public water supplies are fluoridated in the United States which means approximately 221.2 million people currently drink artificially fluoridated water against their will. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) classifies fluoride as a drug used to prevent or mitigate disease, specifically to prevent tooth decay, a disease that is not waterborne. Essentially, fluoridated water is a medical treatment being administered to everyone in uncontrolled doses without their informed consent. Below are five reasons why you should be wary of fluoride, and not just in your tap water.

1. Unnecessary

Fluoridation is not necessary, and only eight countries in the whole world fluoridate more than 50 percent of their water. The countries that do fluoridate their water, the United States, Australia, Colombia, Ireland, Israel, Malaysia, New Zealand and Singapore, still have teeth problems. Countries, like England, who don’t fluoridate more than half of their water, have teeth that are just as good, if not better, than countries who do fluoridate their water, or so the World Health Organization says. It would be much better to eat a whole, unprocessed clean diet free of sugars and processed foods that promote tooth decay.

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 2. It May Not Help Your Teeth

Fluoride may not help with tooth decay. The National Institute of Dental Research conducted the largest survey ever the United States with over 39,000 children from 84 communities to show that there were little difference (less than one tooth surface and less than one percent) in tooth decay among children in fluoridated and non-fluoridated communities. You can buy natural toothpaste products, and if you need help choosing one, see Our Guide to The Best Natural Toothpastes. 

 3. We’re Overexposed

Children are being over-exposed to fluoride. Fluoridation of water has failed to achieve it’s main objective which was to lower the rate of tooth to reduce the occurrence of dental fluorosis, the discoloration of tooth enamel caused by too much fluoride, to 10 percent in children, but 41 percent of adolescents in the United States still have dental fluorosis.

 4. It Might Hurt Your Thyroid

Fluoride may affect thyroid function. The U.S. National Research Council  has stated that there are “several lines of information” that “indicate an effect of fluoride exposure on thyroid function.” In fact, European doctors used to prescribe fluoride to patients suffering from hyperthyroidism in the 20th century. These patients hyperthyroidism was effectively and efficiently reduced with just 2.3 to 4.5 mg per day of fluoride. Be sure you know what your thyroid needs in regards to certain nutrients, and eat a well-balanced plant-based diet that supports your thyroid.

5. Not the Ultimate Solution for Oral Health

Tooth decay is high in low-income communities that have been fluoridated for years. Water fluoridation is not the solution to the oral health crises that rampages through poverty stricken communities with inadequate nutrition and lack of access to dental care. Boston, Cincinnati, New York City, and Pittsburgh and other populous cities in America with large low-income communities still, despite water fluoridation, still are in an oral health crises, especially in children. “Baby bottle tooth decay,”  is a serious problem poor children face, and fluoridation is ineffective in preventing oral health problems.

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There are numerous other reasons why fluoride is controversial and worth researching on your own. In the meantime, look at see if there are any non-fluoridated water sources nearby you, and choose fluoride free products, like natural toothpaste and mouthwash whenever possible. You can should also consider getting a good water pitcher or filtration system in your home to prevent taking in tap water that includes fluoride and a host of other chemicals that are not beneficial to your health.

 Image Source: Mike Mozart/Flickr