Find Out How Much Fluoride Is In Your Tap Water

Find Out How Much Fluoride Is In Your Tap Water

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How Much Fluoride in My Water
©Piotr Marcinski/Shutterstock.com

Water fluoridation began in the United States in Grand Rapids, Michigan in1945.  It is considered one of the Ten Great Health Achievements of the 20th Century. In spite of this, many people don’t know how much fluoride is in their water — and although I find this hard to believe, it seems that water fluoridation isn’t a topic that comes up around the dinner table each night!

Most people get their water from either public water systems or a private well.  Here’s how to find the fluoride concentration:

Find Out How Much Fluoride is in Your Public Water System

Fluoridated Tap WaterMethod #1: Visit a website. If your municipality provides your tap water, then you’re in luck because there’s a simple site to find out your water fluoride concentration that the Center for Disease Control has made.

It’s called My Water’s Fluoride.  All you have to do is click that link, then click on your state and county.  You also need to know your municipality name or your water company’s name.  If you’re unsure, you can take a look at a recent water bill.

The site will then tell you a number of interesting facts about your water, like how many people it serves, where the water comes from, how much fluoride it contains, and when fluoridation started.

Method #2: Simply call your water service provider.  They should have a contact number on every bill you receive.  Most water companies will be happy to give you the fluoride concentration over the phone.

Find Out How Much Fluoride is in Your Well-Water

Since you probably don’t know how many fluorite crystals your well-water rubbed up against before it got to your well, it would be a good idea to get your water tested for fluoride.  Don’t worry though, it doesn’t have to be expensive!

Method #1: Get Your Well-Water Professionally Tested. This can end up being rather expensive, depending on how you go about it.  If you look in your phonebook and get someone to come to your house, that might be rather expensive.

Another way you could do it would be to find a water testing company online.  Simply searching on Google for fluoride water testing gives you quite a bit of sponsored advertisements for companies that want to test your water for a fee.  They usually have you fill up a bottle or two that they provide and then send it to their laboratory.  Then they test it and send you the results.  These can be good companies, but you should be careful as some companies may be fraudulent.  It’s best to ask around your circle of friends to see if any of them have had their water tested and have any recommendations.

Method #2: Test Your Water Yourself. This is probably the method I would choose if I drank well-water.  There are various kits that you can receive that will allow you to test your own water at home.  3M is a fairly respectable company and they provide one such test called the Fluoricheck Water Analysis Kit.  It is inexpensive and should provide fairly accurate results.

What is the Optimal Water Fluoride Concentration?

The optimal fluoride concentration ranges from 0.7 to 1.2 ppm (parts per million, also known as milligrams per liter).  If you live in a warmer climate, you will want less fluoride in your water, since you’ll probably be drinking a lot more.  If you live in a colder climate, then you will want more fluoride in your water since you probably won’t be drinking as much.

In fact, some water companies even adjust the level of fluoride in their water based on the season.  During the summer when people tend to consume more water, they will decrease the amount of fluoride, and during the winter they will increase the concentration of fluoride in the water.

What If I Don’t Have Enough Fluoride In My Water?

If your water contains less than 0.7 ppm, then there are ways to get more fluoride, such as drinking water from public sources that are fluoridated, prescription fluoride supplements, brushing with fluoride-containing toothpaste, and using fluoride-containing mouthwash.

Also, since over half of the United States receives fluoridated water, fluoride can be found in many canned and bottled beverages as well as processed foods.

To be honest, I grew up without fluoride in my water and I did have a few cavities growing up, but it really wasn’t that big of a deal to me.  Sure, maybe fluoridated water would have prevented one of those cavities, but it doesn’t keep me up at night.

How Much Fluoride Is Too Much?

Fluoride continues to help your teeth resist cavities at all concentrations.  However, too much fluoride can cause enamel fluorosis which can range in appearance from small white imperfections in your teeth to unsightly brown stained teeth.

The CDC recommends that children under 8 years of age not drink water that is fluoridated above 2 ppm, as it could result in enamel fluorosis in developing teeth.  If you’re over 8 years old, then the CDC recommends not consuming water that is fluoridated above 4 ppm.  If your well water is that high, I would recommend installing a filter that can effectively reduce the amount of fluoride in your water.

If you have any experiences with fluoridated water or any questions, please share them in the comments section below.

20 COMMENTS

  1. Modern science indicates that ingesting fluoride does not reduce tooth decay but does expose entire populations to fluoride’s adverse health effects.

    • Thanks for the comment, nyscof!

      Please reference the studies that modern science has done to indicate that ingesting fluoride does not reduce tooth decay.

      A good read that documents the effectiveness of water fluoridation and cites scientific research is the ADA’s Fluoridation Facts Booklet which can be downloaded by clicking here.

      It is important to note that fluoride has only been implicated in causing mottled enamel and brown-stained teeth. This happens when people ingest very large quantities of fluoride and shouldn’t happen from fluoridated water.

  2. Referencing the ADA (the biggest pushers of fluoride and mercury) is like referencing used car salesmen to find out the facts about the used cars they are trying to hawk. Perhaps read something decent such as the National Academies in-depth studies on the effects of fluoride on every system of the body. http://www.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=11571 Or, try reading something from honest toxicologists such as Dr. Phyllis Mullenix. If fluoride “helps teeth” so well, please explain why it’s not working so well in the state of Kentucky. Kentucky is almost 100% “optimally” fluoridated, and it has one of the worst rates of dental decay and toothlessness in the entire country. Finally, too much fluoride does a lot more than cause “mottled” teeth. It is a deadly HAZMAT chemical that the body tries its best to get rid of, primarily via the kidneys. A friend of mine recently survived a lethal dose from his dentist, and within hours he had acute renal failure with a creatinine level of 5636 mg/L, and a fluoride level of 132 mg/L in his urine. (Tolerable is thought to be around 0.25 mg/L.)

    • Thank you for the insightful comments, Mary.

      I wouldn’t say that the ADA are used car salesmen, I believe that they are an organization that is focused on improving oral health nationwide. Numerous studies do show the effectiveness of fluoride. Please provide a link to the fluoride study in Kentucky. I do think that perhaps water fluoridation is not as effective as it was purported to be decades ago. I think it is important to remember that children in the United States have been increasingly eating more and more sugar. Fluoride can’t protect the teeth if they are constantly being attacked by the acid that the oral bacteria produce upon digesting sugar.

      I am sorry to hear about your friend. No dentist should be giving lethal doses. Have your friend’s kidneys recovered or was the damage permanent?

      I have looked over the National Academies’ book on fluoride. I do hope to read it, eventually. Water fluoridation is a subject that interests me. I have stated that I am not sure if water should be fluoridated — I am still trying to read up about the different arguments that are made regarding this issue.

      • If the ADA is focused on health, then why haven’t they done anything to bring this about? No one should be delivering any sort of fluoride to ANYONE. The ADA have misled people for many years.

    • Thank you for that link, Mary. I did enjoy that article. Since the fluoride that caused the fluorosis in that study was from “natural sources”, do you think that they should de-fluoridate those water sources that contain fluoride naturally?

      I quoted part of their study below for those who have not read it. The study did find an association between fluorosis and periodontitis. I think more studies should be done to find out whether it is also a causal relationship. I do believe there could be many consequences of fluoride that we just haven’t discovered yet.

      As the degree of dental fluorosis increased, periodontitis (advanced gum infection) increased. “The results suggest that there is a strong association of occurrence of periodontal disease in high-fluoride areas,” write Vandana and Reddy.

      “Surprisingly, studies have not paid attention to the periodontal status in high-fluoride areas from a research perspective,” the authors write.

      “In addition to inflammatory process, which remains common to high- and low-fluoride areas, the fluorosis induced changes in hard and soft tissues of periodontium requires … attention to suspect fluoride as an etiological (environmental) agent for periodontal disease,” the authors conclude.

      • Fluoride is causal. There should be no fluoride added onto Americans in any way. The oceans have dealt with fluoride with calcium and magnesium in order to keep it less than lethal. No one should be adding toxic fluoride to the municipal drinking waters, period. For some time, certain public schools were adding fluoride to the children’s water at 4.5 times the dose allowed for municipal fluoridation. The CDC has told me “we do not keep records on this any longer.” This has all been a very bad experiment on innocent people.

  3. I can’t state strongly enough that “fluoride has only been implicated in causing mottled enamel” is completely false and lends to the danger of people assuming “fluoride is harmless.” If you will check the facts, it has been implicated in causing fatalities. People on dialysis must use water that is free of fluoride, or it will be lethal to them. Here are two cases of fatality. It’s not a pretty way to go.
    http://safety.seas.harvard.edu/advise/accident.html
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15231293?dopt=AbstractPlus
    What we discovered when my friend was poisoned with fluoride was that it is impossible to find a lab in NY that will test for fluoride. We eventually found two forensic labs, one in Pennsylvania and the other in Texas. So, there are quite possibly many deaths caused by fluoride, because NO ONE TESTS FOR IT!!! The autopsy report would have just stated “natural causes,” such as heart failure or kidney failure, but there would have been no mention of what CAUSED those “natural causes” since there are no routine tests done for fluoride poisoning.

    • I should have been a little more clear in my response above when I said that fluoride has only been implicated in causing mottled enamel. I was referring to water fluoridation, which is what this article is talking about. Of course, if a child eats a tube of toothpaste, or someone ingests toxic amounts of fluoride, it could cause death in extreme circumstances.

      It is important to note that pretty much anything can cause death when ingested in high quantities. There is such a thing as Vitamin A toxicity. Also, a few years back, a woman died while participating in a water drinking contest to win a Nintendo Wii.

      I do find it interesting that no routine tests are done for fluoride poisoning, especially after someone died from it…

  4. Also, please let me point out that “ingesting fluoride” does not necessarily mean it needs to be swallowed in order for one to pick up a systemic dose of it. If you administer this chemical under the tongue (as nitroglycerin is administered, sublingually), you are then going have an immediate systemic dose of it. Similarly, if you are bathing in it, it is being systemically picked up throughout the body.

  5. Thanks Tom for answering. I will be happy to answer everything tomorrow. The bottom line is that once fluoride has gone through you, it damages everything and then might leave no trace. The only “visible” signs of it are tooth mottling. The rest of the damage has already been done to soft tissues and bones. It’s a killer, and it is the “darling” of toxins for Big Pharma, because it causes problems in every system in the body, thus causing people to pay $ Billions in pharmaceuticals to treat symptoms. No, my friend is not better. He was poisoned on December 21st, 2009, and he is still sick, but thank you for your kind thoughts. He is only 42 years old and was in robust health before this fluoride poisoning took place. His case is going to set precendt. I hope it will blow fluoride out of the water, and out of everything else. It’s about time. We never needed fluoride until we began manufacturing atomic bombs. Then, we had a sudden excess of it. Humans never needed it before then. I will be happy to debate anyone about fluoride.

  6. I was wondering if you had done any research at all? It would seem that 98% of Western Europe has no Fluoride in their water and yet they have just as healthy teeth as we do, with 66% of our water Fluoridated. Also the Fluoride that is being added to our water is industrial waste, not pharmaceutical grade Fluoride. Just as the gasoline industry said that it was ok for lead to be in our gas, which lead to children having brain damage, can’t we say that the dental industry, the aluminum industry, and other industries involved in this huge cover up, are just trying no to be wrong, when there is research out there proving that Fluoride causes hypothyroidism, and hyperactivity in prenatal rats and hypo-activity in post natal? I have done some extensive research and it turns out that the ingestion of Fluoride leads to nothing but adverse side effects. Also, it doesn’t matter what ppm you ingest because Fluoride accumulates in your body over time, only 50% is excreted in the urine, the rest is absorbed by your bones and other organs. So just because somebody who claims to have authority i.e. A professor, a dentist, a doctor, a politician it doesn’t mean they are automatically concluded to be right in everything they say. Also, there seems to be a new correlation between people having less cavities when the water Fluoridation in decreased or stopped, so how can anybody say that Fluoride is in any way biologically and medically necessary? Plus, we are not given a choice in if we want Fluoride in our water. They just put it in, to quote one doctor, “No physician in his right senses would prescribe for a person he has never met, whose medical history he does not know, a substance which is intended to create bodily change, with the advice: ‘Take as much as you like, but you will take it for the rest of your life because some children suffer from tooth decay.’ It is a preposterous notion.” So why can’t we just let people choose what they want to put into their own body?

    http://www.fluoridealert.org/50-reasons.htm
    http://www.dartmouth.edu/~news/releases/2001/mar01/flouride.html
    http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=7319752042352089988&hl=en#

  7. Ok Flouride is not good for you, you want water with no fluoride, its a myth about it preventing cavities. It is making you stupid is what it is doing. Just do a search online for Fluoride dangers and you will see your government is poisoning you. We need to see a Fluoride Free water bottle company or a Fluoride Filter. Stay away from Flouride, it is dangerous and anyone who says otherwise is wrong and need to do their research.

  8. While it does seem that fluoride protects teeth from cavities, “on the surface”, we have to bring to light what it is doing to bodies internally. Have you researched the toxicity of fluoride? The long term effects of it on human bodies? There are many other ways to protect teeth from decay, than brushing them with a pesticide. In my opinion and after research, it seems that about in about 1945 women went to work full time, children went into daycare programs, fast food, processed food went on the rise and American’s oral health began to decline. I’ve studies a lot of what Weston A. Price has gathered and he found that people living prior to the 40’s had excellent oral health and then BOOM! It seems that fluoride being added to water is just another thing that came along with fast food and other convenience things because life here became so fast. To me, it’s truly sad. In American, the desire to “have it all” has come at a huge price. Cancer is on the rise and people can hardly avoid it. Even the most health conscious cannot avoid it because of environmental causes. If anyone is interested in studying the findings of Weston Price, you can go here: http://www.westonaprice.org/

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