The average person needs between 8 and 12 cups of water per day in order to be healthy. Water is used in soups, stews, juices, and drinks. Basically, if it’s wet, it probably has water in it.
Water is a zero-calorie liquid, and it’s one of the healthiest drinks on the planet. Or, at least it should be…
Fluoridation is a practice of adding fluoride to our drinking water. It has been common practice since as far back as the 1940s, and one of the greatest controversies in our country today. Proponents of fluoridation claim that adding the chemical to the water source is effective at reducing cavities while critics bring up evidence that point to the danger of fluoride.
But which is true? Read on to find out both the pros and cons…
The Primary Purpose Of Fluoride: Protecting Your Teeth
Fluoride is added to the water supply as a means of preventing tooth decay. Fluoride binds to the enamel of your teeth, making it more resistant to bacteria. Essentially, it’s intended to be a shield to reduce cavities and oral health problems.
Pretty good, right? It’s awesome to have healthy teeth! But could fluoride actually be doing more harm than good?
Drawbacks of Fluoride
There are a couple of arguments AGAINST using fluoride in our water:
- No way to control dosage — Too much fluoride can be a bad thing, and with fluoride in the drinking water, it’s impossible to control how much of the chemical people are exposed to. With the popularity of fluoridated toothpaste and cleaning products, there may be a risk of overexposure.
- There are negative health effects –– People with kidney problems can suffer if exposed to too much fluoride, and the chemical is believed to cause low IQ, attention problems, thyroid disorders, bone fractures, and other health problems. However, this is only when exposed to TOO MUCH.
As you can see, there is a very real chance that fluoride in our drinking water can cause health problems. After all, with no way to control our exposure to the chemical, the risk of health problems increases.
The truth is that the fluoride vs. no fluoride is an incredibly complex argument, one that has spanned decades. Thousands of studies have been conducted into the benefits and dangers of fluoride, with organizations like the EPA, CDC, and WHO getting involved. Still there is no clear consensus on whether or not fluoride is completely safe or dangerous.
But, if your goal is to live a 100% healthy, natural life, you may want to take steps to reduce your exposure to all chemicals. This includes the fluoride in your drinking water. For your benefit, we’ve come up with a complete guide on removing fluoride from water. You can drink water that is chemical-free and as clean as possible thanks to the advice below…
How to Remove Fluoride from Water
Remember: fluoride is added into your water at the treatment plant, meaning the chemical is present in your water when it reaches your tap. However, it is possible to drink fluoride-free water! Your options include:
- Drinking spring water
- Distilling water
- Running your water through the right filter
Below, we’ll take a look at all three options to help you determine which is the best for you.
Spring water is, by definition, water that comes from a spring rather than a river or rain. Many brands of bottled water derive their water from a spring, which is pumped from a body of water far underground. The water has not been exposed to the chemicals that leech into groundwater, nor is it run through a treatment plant. It’s water in its “most natural form”.
Spring water definitely holds an appeal for many, especially those who want all natural or organic products. However, one downside is that products can be bottled as “spring water” even if they have been treated or fluoridated. In fact, many spring water bottle brands contain higher levels of fluoride than regular bottled water. The only way to know for sure that your spring water is actually fluoride-free is to research the company and brand.
Our Verdict: Spring water is often more work than it’s worth. Plus, it’s pricey!
Distilled water is a type of water that has been submitted to a purification process that eliminates all contaminants. However, during the purification process, the natural minerals in the water are also eliminated.
Yes, water does contain minerals, and those minerals are vital for a healthy body. Eliminating the minerals basically removes the benefits of regular drinking water. Distilled water is NOT the healthiest option!
Caveat: Distilled water is best when used in electrical appliances, such as water heaters or irons. The lack of minerals means there will be no calcification or mineral buildup that could affect the appliance’s mechanisms.
Our Verdict: Distilled water may be free of fluoride, but it’s also free of minerals. Not ideal!
Water filters come in all shapes and sizes! You can find pitchers that filter your water, machines to install beneath your sink, or even tiny tablets that will purify your drinking water. All of these filters are designed to eliminate contaminants, but NOT all are effective for removing fluoride.
There are three types of filters that can eliminate fluoride from your drinking water:
Reverse Osmosis Filtration System
Reverse osmosis systems push water through semi-permeable membranes in a filter, effectively removing contaminants. These systems can eliminate as much as 95% of the fluoride in your drinking water.
However, these systems tend to be VERY pricey (up to $2,000 for a single-tap system), and they aren’t very efficient. It takes anywhere from 2 to 4 gallons of regular water to produce 1 gallon of filtered water. The more contaminants and fluoride the water contains, the less water it produces.
Another downside is that reverse osmosis removes all the minerals from your water, reducing the health benefits of the drinking water and giving it a “flat” taste.
Activated alumina is simple to activated charcoal, another water purification method. With activated alumina, water passes through a bed of aluminum granules. The granules absorb the contaminants, leaving your water clean.
Activated alumina is highly effective at eliminating not only fluoride but most heavy metals and toxins. This type of filtration system is commonly used for water supplies that are highly fluoridated.
On the downside, your water has to have a very specific pH (lower than 8.5) for the activated alumina systems to work. The flow of water is also very slow, meaning it takes longer to filter 1 gallon of clean water than with other systems. Filtration cartridges also require regular replacement for the systems to keep working. Between maintenance and the high initial cost, these systems can be more trouble than they’re worth for home use.
Deionization is a process similar to distillation. Essentially, all ionic particles in the water are removed. This eliminates a lot of the contaminants and toxins, including fluoride.
On the downside, just because water is deionized, that doesn’t mean it’s pure. Any contaminants non-ionic in nature (such as soap) will still remain in the water. Deionization ONLY deals with the ionic particles in the water.
Water Filtration Systems To Consider
If you are serious about removing all fluoride from your drinking water, here are a few of the best water filtration systems to consider for your home:
iSpring RCC7 5-Stage Reverse Osmosis Under-Sink Water Filter — This reverse osmosis filtration system is designed to be used in any home. Be warned: it only produced 75 gallons per day–less than ¼ of the average U.S. household water use. It will suffice for drinking water, and you’ll find that it can eliminate up to 99% of fluoride–as well as contaminants, heavy metals, pesticides, and toxins.
The product is made in the U.S.A., and uses only FDA food-grade materials. It’s easy to install under your sink, and it will be a good option for those who want only clean drinking water.
Big Berkey BK4X2-CF — This is a drip water filter, meaning it will take A LOT longer to purify small quantities of water. It can hold up to 2 ¼ gallons of water at once, but will filter up to 3.5 gallons per hour. It’s a good solution for those who want to eliminate most particles, contaminants, and fluorides from their drinking water. However, if you have a large family, it may not be able to produce enough drinking water. Plus, it’s a fairly pricey investment!
ProPur Big Stainless Steel Water Purification System — This is another drip water filter, one able to hold a bit more water at a time–2 ¾ gallons. It’s designed for a home with 2-4 people and built of solid stainless steel. With the addition of the brand new ProOne G 2.0.7″ filters, you can remove more fluoride and contaminants than ever. Best of all the filters are longer-lasting, and you’ll only need to change them once every 12 months.
Home Master TMJRF2 Counter Top Water Filtration System — This is a compact, efficient water filtration system designed to sit atop your sink/countertop and filter water as needed. According to the product specs, it’s capable of removing up to 93% of fluoride and other contaminants. It’s a beautifully user-friendly appliance that you can set up in minutes. Best of all, it’s easily portable. You can move it from sink to sink without calling a plumber. It’s also the cheapest water filtration system on this list.
Other Ways To Reduce Fluoride Exposure
You know that fluoride can be dangerous for your health if consumed in too high quantities, so it’s vital that you reduce your exposure to the chemical. This doesn’t just mean reducing the fluoride in your drinking water, but also:
- Using non-fluoride toothpaste — This may be easier said than done, as most commercial toothpastes contain fluoride. However, with a bit of research, you can find a few brands of fluoride-free toothpaste to use at home. (Note: If you continue to use commercial toothpaste, DO NOT let your children swallow it.)
- Eating healthier — Processed foods are often produced using fluoridated water, meaning they increase your risk of exposure to fluoride. Try to eat as much raw, natural food as possible, and avoid soft drinks, fruit juices, and canned soups/stews. The more processed the food is, the more likely it is to contain fluoride!
- Asking your dentist about fluoride gels — A surprising number of dentists still use fluoride gels to treat oral health problems and prevent cavities, but did you know that these gels are ONLY for people with a high cavity risk? Find out if your dentist is using these gels to treat your cavities.
- Cutting back on tea — This may be a hard saying, but it’s a must. Green and black tea both contain naturally high levels of fluoride, meaning it’s time to reduce your tea consumption to avoid the chemical.
- Buying only organic grapes and grape products — Many vineyards in the US use cryolite, a pesticide that contains fluoride. This means that all grapes, grape juices and wines exposed to cryolite have a higher risk of containing the chemical. With organic grape products, there is no risk of fluoride exposure.
- Avoiding non-stick cookware — Non-stick frying pans and pots are coated with Teflon, a chemical that contains fluoride. When your food comes in contact with Teflon (especially if it’s scratched), there is a risk of the chemical leeching into your food.
Follow this advice, and you’ll reduce your risk of potential health problems from fluoride!