In the classic Stanley Kubrick cold war black comedy “Dr. Strangelove,” a nuclear war between the United States and the USSR is started by Air Force Brigadier General Jack D. Ripper, when he concludes that the fluoridation of our nation’s water supply is a communist conspiracy to sap patriotic Americans’ “precious bodily fluids.” While that is obviously crazy talk, as it turns out, too much fluoride in the diet actually can have negative health effects. Read on to find out how you might be getting more fluoride in your diet than you planned.
More than a half century ago, municipal water authorities began putting small amounts of the trace mineral fluoride into America’s drinking water. It was discovered that a small increase in fluoride strengthened bones and teeth, and this simple act has radically improved our nation’s dental health. Today, more than two thirds of all community water supplies are fluoridated in this country.
But like most trace minerals crucial for our bodies, too much fluoride can be a bad thing. In fact, as little as double the Food and Drug Administration recommended dose can actually weaken bones and damage teeth, as well as causing a more significant problem called Fluorosis. People suffering from fluorosis can develop bone pain, weakened and discolored teeth, and other skeletal and dental issues.
Today, in addition to receiving it in our tap water and toothpaste, it is also included in many brands of bottled water. Fluoride dosages are regulated by two different agencies. When it is placed in community water supplies it falls under Environmental Protection Agency regulations, but in packaged products it falls under the purview of the Food and Drug Administration.
Some popular brands of bottled water that either add or naturally contain higher levels of fluoride include Ozarka, Poland Springs, Zephyr Hills, Ozarka, Crystal Springs, Diamond Springs, and Deer Park.
If you are concerned about too much of this important micronutrient in your family’s diet, some brands that do not add or contain fluoride include Albertson’s, Evian, Deja Blue, Whole Foods 365, San Pellegrino, Artesian Wells, Polaris, Nantze Springs, and Mountain Valley Springs.
The US Department of Health and Human Services issued new guidelines for fluoridation. They suggest that the ideal daily intake of fluoride should be .7 milligrams per liter of drinking water. Since that is easily attained through tap water and regular brushing, concerned families may want to avoid additional sources. They also recommend that the maximum safe dosage of fluoride be considered no more than one and a half milligrams per liter.
Families with children under the age of two are advised not to brush their teeth with fluoridated toothpaste, or use fluoridated water to prepare baby foods. Instead, distilled water is recommended.
Almost ninety percent of all European governments do not actively fluoridate their water supplies. Overall however, the United States has much better community dental health standards than those nations.
How healthy are your family’s smiles? Do you actively monitor fluoride in their diets, or will you start now? Please share your stories and thoughts with us here.