Is Fluoride Bad For You & Your Children?

by Feb 6, 2019

Most of us have regrets. God knows I have a few when it comes to parenting. Are they really regrets though, or lessons? Lessons you learn from (and I’ve learned a few!). So I want to share some of what I’ve learned and explore a common question I hear: is fluoride bad for you and your children?

Is fluoride bad for you?

There’s no easy way of saying it. Fluoride is detrimental to your health and I’ll explain why. The topical application to your teeth might mean fewer visits to the dentist but its omnipresence in our everyday products, not to mention tap water, is simply lunacy.

Fluoride is found not only in most of our drinking water supplies but in our non-stick cookware, dental products, antibiotics, pesticides, food, beer and wine.

Yet, fluoride is not an essential nutrient.

It is not required in our bodies to prevent any disease or deficiency. It is only added to our water to prevent cavities or tooth decay.

It is the only chemical added to our water to treat those who drink the water (just like medicine, except no one cares what dose a man, woman, or child is given), rather than to treat the water itself.

Interestingly, most western European countries do not fluoride their water. Australia has a very high rate of fluoridation in comparison.

There are even some countries which have naturally high levels of fluoride in their water and they remove it!

Reasons you should eliminate fluoride from your home

1. Fluoride is a neurotoxin

In fact, over 300 studies have found that fluoride is a neurotoxin linked to human brain damage such as reduced IQ in children, ADHD, cretinism, learning disabilities, autism, seizures, insomnia, Alzheimers’ disease, etc. A recent 12-year long study found a clear link between high fluoride exposure in the urine of pregnant mothers and lower scores on tests of cognitive function in the offspring at 4 and 6-12 years of age.

 2. Fluoride can lead to dental fluorosis and discolouration

Fluorosis has the appearance of faint white lines or streaks on the teeth that occurs when younger children consume too much fluoride, from any source, over a long period. Fluorosis can only occur as teeth are developing under the gums not when they have broken out.

If you are using infant formula there is also a high probability that you may be adversely affecting your child’s health by making it up with fluoridated tap water. In 2010, a New Zealand study found that infants fully formula-fed using fluoridated water (typical levels in our tap water) have a high probability of exceeding the regulatory upper limit for fluoride, putting them at increased risk of dental fluorosis.

When infants in the study consumed formula prepared using fluoride-free water, their fluoride levels were well below the upper level of intake for New Zealand and Australia (0.7 mg/day at the time of the study). Interestingly, these upper-level limits have since increased to 1.2 mg/day!

A formula-fed baby is therefore likely to ingest 200 to 300 times more fluoride than a breastfed baby, which has a minimal amount of fluoride.

3. Fluoride is a hormone/endocrine disruptor

Fluoride is a low-dose endocrine disruptor linked to obesity and diabetes. It inhibits the production of thyroid hormones which can damage the brain of the foetus.

4. Fluoride deposits in your pineal gland

The pineal gland is where we make melatonin but it’s much more than just a sleep hormone that regulates our sleep and wake cycles. It’s the most powerful anti-oxidant and anti-cancer agent we have. It plays a crucial role in fighting diseases.

In 2001, a study showed fluoride deposits in the pineal gland with age and is associated with increased pineal gland calcification.

5. Other effects

Finding this post useful? Pin it for later!Is Fluoride Bad For You & Your Children? Pinterest graphic

Fluoride has been linked to a range of other health issues including arthritis, bone fragility, glucose intolerance, gastrointestinal distress, thyroid disease, and possibly cardiovascular disease and certain types of cancer. It’s also been linked to Alzheimers’ disease. An epidemic unfolding right before our eyes. Fluoride increases the absorption of aluminium in your body, deposits in the brain and is being found in high concentrations of those with Alzheimers’ disease.

Why is fluoride particularly bad for our children?

In a healthy adult, the kidneys will excrete about 50 to 60% of the fluoride ingested each day. Yet in children, their detoxification systems are way less developed and they can absorb about 80% of what’s ingested.

The fluoride accumulates in their bones and pineal glands over a lifetime.

Fluoride in our drinking water

Fluoride is usually found in negligible amounts in fresh water, at about ten times less the concentration of that in your drinking water. Importantly, it’s also a different type of fluoride – calcium fluoride.

On the other hand, the chemicals used to fluoridate our drinking water are actually a waste product of the phosphate fertiliser industry, a common practice around the world. The chemicals are captured inside industrial flues using air pollution control devices (scrubbers) that trap particles and pollutant gases from escaping to the atmosphere.  

This waste is not treated to a pharmaceutical or food-grade standard and can contain elevated levels of metals – the toxic metal arsenic, in particular. A cheap way to get rid of unwanted waste, hey? And then we drink it! Isn’t this, in itself, reason enough to object to fluoridated water?

In Western Australia, we use mostly fluorosilicic acid which is a waste product from superphosphate production at CSBP Kwinana.

Fluoride indirectly causes problems in our drinking water too as it exacerbates the leaching of the toxic heavy metal lead from our domestic water pipes, a common problem in Perth and elsewhere.

What to do?

Remove fluoride from your drinking water

Most water filters do NOT remove fluoride.

Water filters that do remove fluoride include reverse osmosis, deionisers that use ion-exchange resin, and activated alumina. Distilled water also has fluoride removed.

Whole of house filters (usually installed close to your water meter) do not generally remove fluoride – if they tell you they do please ask the supplier for proof that it does so 100% of the time.

RELATED POST: Lead in Water & What You Need To Do About It

Hence, you still need a good filter that does remove fluoride at your kitchen sink.

Reverse osmosis is the most effective way to do this but many people don’t like the idea of removing every single mineral from their water which is how this system works. It also generates a lot of wasted water. If you want a simple solution (no plumbing) then I’d highly recommend this glass countertop filter which I use as it removes about 99.9% fluoride. Plus you get all the filters you need for 4 years!

Give your children large bottles of filtered water going to school to reduce the need to fill up at water stations.

A word of warning, if you are using boiling water to remove contaminants, know that boiling will actually increase the concentration of fluoride in your water!

Get rid of your non-stick cookware

Non-stick cookware and appliances get a bad rap and, rightly so, as I explain in this blog.

Fluorine is the key component of this slippery non-stick material. Replace your non-stick items with stainless steel, glass and cast iron starting with those you use most.

Switch your toothpaste and floss

Given recent studies show that fluoride’s main benefit to teeth comes from its topical application, I can understand the need to use a fluoride toothpaste especially if you have a history of dental problems. Yet one of the problems with this is that toothpaste that contains fluoride also contains a whole lot of other nasties that you really want to avoid.

Another issue is that young children swallow a whole lot of toothpaste and they should not be ingesting fluoride or the other toxicants.

We don’t use fluoride toothpaste but we also don’t have dental issues in our family. However, if yours is different, children six years of age upwards may be able to use toothpaste without ingestion but you will know best.

If you want to use fluoride toothpaste, make sure your children don’t swallow it and also find a brand that does not contain any other toxicants. They are super hard to find but one of the few I know with fluoride is Jason Natural.

I believe there is a whole lot more to good dental hygiene than just fluoride – diet, genetics and your own unique bacteria also play a massive role.

There are lots of great kinds of toothpaste without fluoride including Miessence, Dr Brite, Dr Bronner, Weleda, and Grants.

Oh, and just to rub salt in the wounds you know they also add that same toxic non-slip material (PFAS) found in your cookware into your dental floss? That’s what gives it that nice glide! Most big brands have been found guilty. You will find much safer brands in health stores or online such as Aloe Dent or Dr Tungs.

In a nutshell, there is no doubt, given the hundreds of independent studies conducted, that fluoride is bad for you.

Pregnant women and young children are especially vulnerable.

Fluoride is an established neurotoxin. It accumulates in your body from the moment you are conceived and throughout life. It’s not an essential nutrient and it appears to me that the only reason we are intentionally adding it to our water is due to human nature: we are unable to say we got it wrong.

Whether you are thinking of getting pregnant, already have a bun in the oven, or you have little ones or big ones running rings around you, it’s never too late to jump on the eco-conscious bandwagon. Start with a great water filter.

When you know better, you do better. 

If you’re based in Perth, Australia, get in touch with me if you would like a Home Assessment that can help you to eliminate toxins from your home.

Hi, I’m Una. Eco-Lifestyle Coach & Scientist

Una Phelan environmental scientist and eco-lifestyle coach

I create healthy homes and lifestyles that change lives for the better.

When you need straightforward, simple information, I will give it to you. I can cut through the science to give you practical tips for taking charge of your health, your home and workplace.

This means it’s easier for you to get on the right track to an econscious lifestyle.

Whether it’s online or in person, I’ll guide you every step of the way.

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