Some doctors recommend that patients avoid fluoride as a means of improving health.
One must avoid fluoride as sources of human exposure to fluoride have drastically increased since community water fluoridation began in the U.S. in the 1940’s. The IAOMT has explained that given the current levels of exposure, policies should reduce and work toward eliminating avoidable sources of fluoride, including water fluoridation, fluoride-containing dental materials, and other fluoridated products, as means to promote dental and overall health.
Consumers might wish to limit or avoid fluoride exposures as a means of protecting their health. Exposure to fluoride is suspected of impacting nearly every part of the human body. Click here to learn more about health effects of exposure to fluoride.
The first step in avoiding fluoride is to know your sources of it! In addition to water, these sources now include food, beverages, pesticides, fertilizers, dental products used at home and in the dental office, pharmaceutical drugs, cookware (non-stick Teflon), clothing, carpeting, and an array of other consumer items used on a regular basis. Click here for a detailed list of fluoride sources: You might be surprised at some of the items!
A major issue in the U.S. is that consumers are not aware of the fluoride added to hundreds of products they routinely use. Some citizens do not even know that fluoride is added to their community drinking water, and because there are no food or bottled water labels, consumers are likewise not aware of those sources of fluoride. These scenarios make it difficult to avoid fluoride, but if more people demand freedom of water choice and better labeling on products, this storyline might change.
While toothpaste and other over-the-counter dental products include disclosure of fluoride contents and warning labels, the information is often in small font and difficult to read. Materials used at the dental office provide even less consumer awareness as informed consent is generally not practiced, and the presence and risks of fluoride in dental materials is, in many instances, never mentioned to the patient. Again, if more people demand better labeling and informed consumer consent, this could change.
The third step to avoid fluoride is to make lifestyle changes. Although informed consumer consent and more informative product labels would contribute to increasing patient awareness about fluoride intake, consumers also need to take a more active role in preventing cavities. Better diet, improved oral health practices, and other measures would assist in reducing tooth decay, as well as many other ailments.
Other habits also need to change in order to avoid unnecessary fluoride exposure. For example, certain foods and beverages (any and all made with fluoridated water, including bottled water, tea, juice, soft drinks, and even beer and wine) will need to be replaced with healthier options. This is especially important to consider in the case of infants drinking formula made with fluoridated tap water. Using a non-fluoridated bottled water for infant formula would drastically reduce dangerous levels of fluoride. Click here to visit a database about fluoride levels in food and beverages, and be sure to look at pages 12-26.
Also, some consumers opt to purchase special water filters to remove fluoride from their water. It is important to carefully research water filters, as many do not successfully remove fluoride. The Fluoride Action Network (FAN) has helpful resources for consumers wanting to avoid fluoride exposure. Click here to visit FAN’s page on this topic.