Fluoride in Drinking Water: The Pros and Cons

fluoride in drinking water

Fluoride in Drinking Water

Water fluoridation is considered a matter of public health. For many decades, fluoride was added to water to prevent tooth decay. This was simply accepted as common practice, but nowadays whether or not to add fluoride in drinking water is a debate in public health. Many public water suppliers that do fluoridate their water are reconsidering the security and success of such measures. Maybe before any clear decisions are made regarding fluoride, it’s important to consider the pros and cons of fluoride in drinking water.

Research on fluoride in drinking water

Fluoride in drinking water is considered an easy way to improve public health. Research on fluoride in drinking water indicates that adding fluoride helps reinforce tooth enamel, and prevents decay, cavities, and tooth loss. With such benefits, it seems hard to believe that there would be any objection to adding fluoride in drinking water. In terms of a history of fluoride in drinking water, it was first supported by the American Medical Association in 1951 and from the American Dental Association in 1953.

Questions are now growing with regard to the safety of this type of program though. Fluoride is usually assumed to protect tooth enamel. It might also increase bone density, however it doesn’t decrease fracture risk. Fluoride can also be known to cause a cosmetically detrimental effect called dental fluorosis, a staining of the tooth that experts say does not cause any physical difficulties. This problem has a somewhat higher level of incidence if fluoride supplements are utilized inside the first 6 months of life. Fluoride can influence dietary allergies and protein digestion and intolerance. Fluoride has already been linked to signs of stomach pain and indigestion.

In some places in the United States, water suppliers are required to add fluoride in drinking water. For example, California state law requires water agencies with more than 10,000 water service connections to fluoridate their drinking water supplies.

If you are concerned with reducing fluoride in drinking water, there are two approaches:

  • Remove fluoride from your drinking water only
  • Remove fluoride from your whole house water supply

How to remove fluoride in drinking water

This approach to reducing fluoride in drinking water is more effective than point-of-entry / whole house water filter solutions. We recommend a reverse osmosis system for purifying your drinking water. The best undersink reverse osmosis system is the PS-WOWRO (Under Sink RO System – Low Waste Reverse Osmosis Alternative).

A reverse osmosis water filter will remove a minimum of 95% of fluoride no matter the quality of your water supply.

How to remove fluoride from your whole house / point-of-entry water supply

You can also reduce fluoride in drinking water by filtering all the water that comes into your house (also known as a whole house water filter). Essentially this is filtering all the water that comes out of your faucets including the water to your bath, shower, washing machine, etc.

Some people choose a whole house water filter approach because in addition to removing it from their drinking water, they also want to avoid their skin absorbing any fluoride when they are washing. Plus they can also avoid ingesting small amounts when they area brushing their teeth or in the shower.

Some of the best whole house water filter systems include the PS-SS20C (High Flow Stainless Steel Whole House Filter – Industrial Grade) or BG-20SF (Industrial Grade Whole House Water Filter for Sediment and Scale). We carry a wide range of whole house water filter systems.

But why is a reverse osmosis system not practical for an entire property? A whole house reverse osmosis filter produces water too slowly. You would need to consider a commercial RO system such as PS-600G (600 GPD Light Commercial RO System Floor Standing Reverse Osmosis).