Friday, June 14, 2024
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Is There More Fluoride In a Pea-Sized Amount of Toothpaste or a Liter of Water?

Jake (whom I assume is a dentist) left an interesting comment about fluoride on Sunday.  He said:

I had an anti-fluoride patient the other day that was saying he read somewhere that a pea-sized amount of toothpaste contains the same amount of fluoride in 1 liter of tap water (1 ppm). His argument was that the toothpaste labels says to call poison control if more than a pea-sized amount is swallowed (which it doesn’t), and the same amount is in 1 liter of water. So he was wondering if he should call poison control every time he drinks more than a liter of water. It sounded ludicrous, but how much fluoride is actually in a pea-sized amount of toothpaste in comparison to 1 liter of water?

Fluoride Warnings On Toothpaste
Fluoride Warnings on Toothpaste (Click to enlarge)

I enjoy talking about water fluoridation.  Looking back, I’ve actually written 15 different posts about fluoride!

Jake’s comment really got me wondering about how the fluoride levels compare between fluoridated water and toothpaste.

Do Toothpastes Contain a Warning Telling You to Call Poison Control?

First, let’s take a look at the common anti-fluoride claim that fluoride is poison.  I took a picture of the back of three different brands of toothpastes: Colgate, Aquafresh, and Crest.  If you click on the picture, you can view a large size that will let you read the warning.  Each tube has a similar warning.  The back of the Colgate Total toothpaste box states:

If more than used for brushing is accidentally swallowed, get medical help or contact a Poison Control Center right away.

But how much do people really use for brushing?  There’s the ultra-conservative pea size, and then there’s the large stripe that toothpaste manufacturers want us to use so that we buy lots of toothpaste!

I decided to find out how much toothpaste is in a large stripe by conducting a two-part experiment.

My Toothpaste Experiment

On the back of the toothpaste tube, it states that you should call the poison control center if you swallow more than is used for brushing.  This is what the toothpaste manufacturers write.  I took the liberty of assuming that a normal amount of toothpaste for them is a thick stripe on a manual toothbrush (like they show in their commercials).

I decided to find out exactly how much toothpaste is in a big stripe so that I could figure out how much fluoride it has.  I got carried away and tried two different brands.

Here’s the large stripe of Colgate Total that I put on my wife’s toothbrush (are your toothbrush bristles as straight as hers?  If not, it may be time to get a new toothbrush):

A Large Stripe of Colgate on a Brush

I measured the toothpaste and found that it filled the 1/4 teaspoon – giving us 1.25 ml of toothpaste:

Colgate Toothpaste Measured

Out of curiosity (and because it seemed like a fun idea after taking two finals over the past 36 hours), I measured the Crest Toothpaste as well.  I was able to get a slightly bigger stripe on the brush this time.  Unfortunately, the stripe I created just wasn’t as good looking as it is on the toothpaste commercials!  However, if you want to practice making a beautiful stripe of toothpaste on your brush, I have to recommend the Crest since it is much thicker.

Crest Stripe on Toothbrush

This large stripe of Crest ended up overflowing the 1/4 teaspoon, giving us about 1.75 ml of toothpaste:

Crest Toothpaste Measured

I decided to take the average of my two “large stripes” to use as the baseline amount of toothpaste you can swallow and still be safe (according to the toothpaste manufacturers) – which appears to be 1.5 ml from my unscientific experiment.

Contrast this with a peasize amount of toothpaste which is only 0.2 ml.  Who would’ve guessed that the average pea only takes up a volume of 0.2 ml?

Now that we know how much toothpaste we use, we can figure out how much fluoride we would ingest if we swallowed a large stripe of toothpaste.

How Much Fluoride is in Toothpaste?

A majority of toothpastes on the market contain about 0.15% fluoride ion, which comes out to 1500 ppm (parts per million.)

In 1.5 ml of toothpaste (the large stripe pictured above) you would find 2.25 mg of fluoride.

In a pea sized amount of toothpaste, you would only find 0.3 mg of fluoride.

How Much Fluoride is in Fluoridated Water?

Most fluoridated water contains about 1.0 ppm.  That means that in 1 liter of water, you would find about 1 mg of fluoride.

Not sure how much fluoride is in your water? Then find out how much fluoride is in your tap water!

Comparing the Amount of Fluoride In Water with the Amount of Fluoride in Toothpaste

As you can see, you would have to drink over 2 liters of water to get the same amount of fluoride that you would get by swallowing a large stripe of toothpaste.  You would only have to drink 300 ml of water (a little less than a 12 oz. can of soda) to get the same amount of fluoride you would get by swallowing a pea size amount of toothpaste.

You Don’t Need to Call Poison Control When You Drink Fluoridated Water!

I’m sure Jake’s patient was just trying to make a point.  Point taken!  However, according to the American Dental Association (Page 31 in their Fluoridation Facts PDF), it would take 5-10 grams of fluoride to cause fluoride toxicity in an average 155-pound man.  That means that a 155-pound man would need to drink 5,000 liters of water (over 1300 gallons!) in order to get a toxic dose of fluoride.

The water would kill you (as this tragic story illustrates) long before the fluoride would have any toxic effect.


Interestingly, there is more fluoride in a liter of water than in a pea-sized amount of toothpaste, but more fluoride in a large stripe of toothpaste than in a liter of water.  Here’s what I found:

  • In a pea size amount of toothpaste, there’s 0.3 mg of fluoride.
  • In a large stripe of toothpaste, there’s 2.25 mg of fluoride.
  • In one liter of fluoridated water, you’ll find 1 mg of fluoride.

Although fluoride is great for your teeth, too much of it during development of the teeth can cause dental fluorosis.

Do you have any questions about toothpaste fluoride content or water fluoride content?  I’d love to hear what you have to say in the comments section below.  Thanks for reading!



  1. Excellent response! Thank you. Yes, the patient did have a point. I told him that I was aware of the dangers of excess fluoride. It looks like we have differing definitions of excess fluoride, and his doesn’t line up with the definition given by the ADA. He showed me and mentioned that he gets most of his information from So, probably some anit-fluoride dentist on that website was making that argument, and it seems credible.

    You mentioned that the lethal dose of fluoride is 5-10 grams. I was curious to know what an acute toxic dose was, so I did a little research. Oddly enough, I got my information from an anti-fluoride website. They mention research that shows an acute toxic dose around 5 mg/kg. So, in your 155 lb man, he would need at least 350 mg, or 350 liters of water, or over 1000 pea-sized amounts of toothpaste. They also used a case report that happened in Alaska where several hundred individuals got sick from a malfunction that put the fluoride levels at 150 ppm. The investigation concluded that the acute toxic dose was 0.3mg/kg. Much lower than 5mg, but still…do the math. Your 155 lb man would need 21mg, or 21 liters of water, or 70 pea-sized amounts of toothpaste. If you drank 21 liters of water (5.5 gallons) you’d die of hyponatremia before you even got sick from the fluoride.

    Having said all of that, you still have to be safe, especially with kids in the house. A little 1-year old who’s toddling all over and stumbles upon a tube of toothpaste could easily get sick if he ingests too much. However, the anti-fluoride hype is a bit irrational and over the top in my opinion.

    • Hi Jake – Thanks for running all the numbers above!

      It seems like the ADA and anti-fluoride sites do end up disagreeing on the level of toxicity. When I was preparing a debate on the water fluoridation issue, I turned to a more neutral source, which is the book Fluoride In Dentistry by Fejerskov. The authors state, “Because there are several variables that can affect the outcome of acute fluoride poisoning, it is not surprising that the fatal dose is uncertain. In cases of human poisonings the uncertainty is amplified because, in most instances, the exact doses involved is not precisely known. Dreisbach stated that the acute lethal dose of fluoride for humans is 6-9 mg F/kg while the data of Lidbeck suggested that it is over 100 mg F/kg. The most frequently cited range for the certainly lethal dose of sodium fluoride was offered by Hodge & Smith (Hodge HC, Smith FA. Biological properties of inorganic fluorides. In: Fluorine chemistry. Simons HH, ed. New York: Academic Press;1965:1-42.) After reviewing case reports, they concluded that 5-10 g of sodium fluoride would certainly be fatal for a person with a body weight of 70 kg [which makes] the dose range for adults would be 32-64 mg F/kg.”

      The book goes on to state that anyone ingesting that high amount of fluoride would be expected to die. It goes over some case reports of fluoride poisoning and the authors then conclude stating the following, “Based on these reports it may be concluded that if a child ingests a fluoride dose in excess of 15 mg F/kg, then death is likely to occur. A dose as low as 5 mg F/kg may be fatal for some children. Therefore, the probable toxic dose (PTD), defined as the threshold dose that could cause serious or life-threatening systemic signs and symptoms and that should trigger immediate emergency treatment and hospitalization is 5 mg F/kg.”

      I think this is why the toothpaste manufacturers recommend calling a poison control center. If you have a 22 pound toddler (10 kg) crawling around, then emergency treatment would be warranted if they swallowed the equivalent of the 15 “large stripes” of toothpaste pictured above.

    • Hi and thanks for this data, it was nice to see. Here is my issue with kids especially.

      If a man at 155lbs, (what about women and children) are safe at lets just say 10. Then per lb the safe limit is .06, Is that right? If you have a child that is 30lbs brushing their teeth, the safe level for them would be 1.80. Is this per day? Ok so if they only use a pea size, 3 times a day they would be at .9, just under 1.0. But, if they brush with the whole toothbrush covered, as all your advertisements do, in one brushing they could eat or absorp up to 2.25 mg which is UNSAFE LEVELS. And the fluoride from their bath/shower and other things and is this what you want for your kids. Even if they dont eat it, a great deal goes into their pores and into their body, just like a bath and shower. So is it safe now? So why do we add this to our water? It is toxic waste that comes from the stack pipes of factories and they transport it in trucks, that can blow up on the road, to go to our water and get dumped into it. What else would the polluters do with this waste? They would have to pay to get rid of it or change their methods of manufacturing. Always follow the money to see who is making it and you will see why it is happening. Why do we mass medicate our country? That certainly is a free country, right? Did you know they used fluoride in concentration camps to dumb the folks down so they didnt fight them, Great for our kids and our people. New studies out have shown the past few years cavities are going down and they are going down in countries that dont use fluoride in their water. Claims are that Flouride is good for children during the first few years of their life, I think 5, but I could be wrong on the age, so why do we all have to have fluoride for our entire life? Why doesnt Europe do it? Did you ever wonder why a lot of countries wont approve our chemicals for use. Why would we even put anything in our water? Why is illnesses on the rise? Why do new borns get 25 vaccinations? Why am I fine without any vaccinations when I grew up except one? Go do your own research and dont listen to anyone. Pull the studies, look at what fluoride is and what they used it for in the concentration camps. Look at who the scientist that said fluoride is good is working for and who donates to that school or grant or how much are they paid for the article, what they have to gain. Look at scientists that are against it and who they work for and what they have to gain? Then you decide and tell a friend. If its not doing any good and cavities are going down without it why do we do it. I dont want any more chemicals in my body. You drink it, you eat it, you breathe it(in your shower/bath). Why? So the polluters can get rid of the toxic waste. Its funny how the health industry started to support fluoride, again follow the money, they saw more sickly people and saw a continue flow of money into their businesses. My opinion from my research, you do your own and I would love to hear from you if you disagree or agree. Is my calculation right on the per lb for small kids?

      • I agree with you. I really do not want flouride in the water. Drinking and showering flouridated water seems absurd. Flouride is a TOPICAL TREATMENT yet we are DIGESTING IT. All this flouride is going into our pores and straight into our bodies barely touching our teeth! I was asked to put a flouride treatment on my son’s teeth by his doctor, his dentist and his preschool who brought a dentist in to put flouride on the kids teeth as well! That would be four treatments a year since he sees his dentist twice. How many flouride treatments does a child need in a year? When I questioned these medical professionals on too much flouride they just said I have the right to refuse it. I refused all of them and I make my own toothpaste. But I am unable to refuse the water that comes into my own home. My family and I are being forced to take a medication we do not want. This is crazy to me. Even if flouride is great and I am mistaken, let that be my free right to make! The city of Seattle had a vote in the 60’s to put flouride in the water and it was voted down two times, but the third time it was passed. I really want Seattle to put this to a vote again and this time VOTE NO!

      • The laughable Fluoride in Concentration Camps is a LIE. You should research things more carefully but then you probably still fall for the 6 million dead Jews Holocaust Lie as well.

    • Dummy. Long term health hazards (brittle bones/teeth) from the exposure to Fluoride occurs at levels of 6mg per day. Who cares about short term hazards? Liars and deceivers…

  2. Yeah, good point about the warning on the toothpaste label. It is Colgate’s or Johnson & Johnson’s form of CYA. Legally you can’t be too careful. I know Tylenol does the same thing. They have warnings on their children’s Tylenol bottles. Well, once my daughter (who was 2 at the time) drank half the bottle of Tylenol. I was freaking out and immediately called poison control. They ran the calculations for her weight and told me she’d be fine. She was fine….and her fever sure did go down.

  3. I was looking for just this information. Your experiment and report was systematic and well done. It was also written very clearly and provided the right amount of data for the layperson. Thanks!!

  4. Hello to whomever did this experiment,

    I live in an area where there is not floride in the water and my public health nurse told me to let my kids swallow their toothpaste, not questioning this I let my 2 and 3 year old kids swallow their toothpaste for three years, pea size amounts. Are you a dentist and do you think my kids will have flurosis or any other damage from this? Most days my kids only brushed once a day and swallowed all the toothpaste.


    • Hi Brenda – I’m in my last year of dental school. Whether or not your kids will develop fluorosis depends on how sensitive they are to fluoride and how much fluoride they are getting from other sources such as processed food and bottled water/juice/soda.

      I don’t know if I’ve ever heard a recommendation to swallow toothpaste, but I have heard that some children may benefit from spitting out the toothpaste and then not rinsing away the fluoride.

      Dr. Pinkham’s pediatric dentistry textbook states, “Regardless of whether toothpaste or a more concentrated form of fluoride is applied, care should be taken to minimize the amount that is used and swallowed. Parents should place a pea-sized dab of toothpaste on the brush and always supervise the brushing session so that the dentifrice and saliva are expectorated.”

      This goes along with what we’ve mostly learned in dental school – fluoride exerts its benefit by contacting the tooth surface. Swallowing fluoride hasn’t been shown to help the teeth very much and only increases the risk of developing fluorosis.

      I hope that helps – Thanks for your comment, Brenda. Let me know if you have any other questions.

      • Given Tom’s statement: “depends on how sensitive they are to fluoride and how much fluoride they are getting from other sources such as processed food and bottled water/juice/soda.”

        What is my sensitivity to the fluoride drug added to my water?
        What is my recommended intake of fluoride?
        How much fluoride do I get drinking 1.25 gallons of water per day?
        How does the state have the right to medicate my water without a medical prescription?
        Where does fluoride come from and can it be added to the lakes and oceans?

    • Hi Brenda,

      Did you ever find out if it’s okay to swallow the pea? I was told the same and my two did the same i.e. swallow the toothpaste and as we live in non flurodated area I thought that would be okay. Would be great to find out more around this topic – please reply to me only.

      Mrs Mac

    • Hi Anonymous – I’m not sure how that relates to water fluoridation. Does the study mention fluoride ions combining to form Phenylmethylsulfonyl Fluoride?

      • I also am more concerned with cumulative effects from chronic exposures from toothpaste (we don’t have fluoride in our water) that could present with potential low grade toxic and/or psychoactive side-effects. Such would be more common (and less diagnosable) than acute toxic effects, which are rare.

  5. Hi Tom,

    Thank you for this site. I am worried because I just discovered that the tube of toothpaste (Tom’s of Maine Silly Strawberry) that I thought was fluoride-free actually contains fluoride (as much as the adult anti-cavity toothpaste). My four-year-old son (who’s about 33 pounds) has been swallowing large pea-sized dollops of the toothpaste for the past many months during brushing because I thought it was harmless and he doesn’t yet know how to spit. We have fluoridated water, so he is getting fluoride from that as well.

    A friend of mine did some research that indicated that chronic exposure at a high enough level can not only cause the discoloring of the teeth, but also low calcium, high potassium, and hypoglycemia. I did notice several months ago that my son seemed to be showing signs of hypoglycemia, and he has complained periodically of weakness in his legs. Maybe it’s just a coincidence, but when I read the signs of fluoride toxicity I wondered. I’ve also looked at some of the anti-fluoride web sites and don’t know what to believe. Is is carcinogenic at the levels we typically ingest (or at the levels my son has ingested), over time? Does it negatively impact I.Q.? If what they are saying is true, it’s a much worse toxin than lead, which sounds scary. But It’s hard to accept these statements when people commenting on the sites are also suggesting that water fluoridation is a conspiracy to anesthetize and dumb-down the populace.

    I am so frustrated with myself for not noticing the fine print on the tube of toothpaste. Tom’s makes another version of the same toothpaste (same name, same tube design) that is fluoride-free. So I guess I’m frustrated with Tom’s, too, but I know it is my responsibility! Hopefully I haven’t poisoned my child or caused irreversible damage.

    Thanks for any input you might have.

  6. I was using a smudge of toothpaste to brush my toddler’s teeth. My husband was concerned because of warnings that he’d read and I told him not to worry. I figure that little amount of toothpaste, even the ones with flouride would not cause anybody any harm. To be sure I figure I should do some research and encountered your post. Thanks for the clear and logical presentation of the information. I feel much more comfortable now.

  7. I think you present the numbers well. It does show that per the ADA figures, your toothpaste won’t kill you.
    I think the larger issue to be dealt with is the effect fluoride in small doses that add up over many years has on the body regardless of age.

    My take on this issue is simply that the choice to use fluoride should be between an individual and a medical professional. The water supply should not have fluoride added solely for its proposed dental benefits. I do not believe any other chemical is added for a dental/medical benefit. Wouldn’t calcium be more beneficial and natural to use instead of fluoride anyway?

    It is difficult and expensive to remove fluoride. Let me get clean water and add it if I want to, if my doctor thinks I need to.

    I think the heart of the matter is choice. This situation took away my choice and in the US, this is a big deal and is a fundamental of law. The government should never be able to mass medicate the public with a chemical that could benefit them. Kill the bacteria, kill the germs, remove the toilet and tampon paper from the municipal water supply. Please do. Why does the government have to protect my teeth? Why not just make dental insurance more affordable?

    Anyway, short and sweet, to use fluoride in water should be an individuals choice. They should not have to remove it from their water.

  8. Ok another question would then be, as hard as fluoride is to remove from my water, it must be very difficult to remove from my body? I would think that while these levels of toxic ingestion seem silly when taken all at once… But 70 doses of toothpaste is like a months worth of brushing. And while you aren’t Swallowing it, you ARE putting it in your mouth! Um , pretty fine line here, no? Just something to think about. Stuff accumulates as we humans sometimes forget…

  9. I am wondering why in the US you put fluor in the drinking water and why so many think it is a good thing to be forcefully medicated. Could the reason be lowered IQ?:
    Here in Norway we opposed this when it was on the political agenda in the 1960es. and we don’t have a worse tooth health than in the US.
    The are many studies of how there will be a synergetic poisoning between fluor, mercury, lead, cadmium and aluminum.:

    TOM, instead of being a proponent for fluoride use, why don’t you switch to being a proponent for incleasing the vitamin D level in the US population. The has a much better effect on tooth health than fluoride and without the toxic effects:

    • Many countries have researched the false myths of the benefits fluoridation and exposed all the neurological, psychological, biological etc damage it does on children. It dumbs them down, reduces their IQs, makes them more irritable and difficult to focus. Areas with high levels of fluoridation are seeing these effects on their youth. Many children can have side effects and allergic reactions due to fluoride. The government should not be allowed to drug the population. Fluoride is not an essential nutrient. If a parent wants to fluoridate their child they can get a prescription for this poison from their doctor once they have a clear understanding of the pros and cons

  10. I don’t think we should be considering acute toxic doses. The real question is at what dose would the fluoride have negative health effects which are bad enough to warrant taking action (calling poison control)? I would say a good start would be to figure out what dose was used when this medication (fluoride) was prescribed until the 70’s for hyperthyroidism. That is as low as 2-4 mg, which you get by drinking tap water (up to 8 glasses). That means your thyroid will function at a slower rate simply by drinking water or swallowing a stripe of toothpaste.

    Imagine accidentally ingesting any other medication, especially over your entire lifetime. And the side effects differ from person to person.

    A pea sized amount would apply to smaller individuals. Thanks for reading.

  11. I’m confused.

    We’re supposed to call poison control if we swallow more than the amount used for brushing. This, if you listen to the commercials instead of your dentist, and overload the toothbrush, will be about the same as the amount found in 2 liters of water.

    However, many people drink 2 liters (or more!) of water a day – if you take the advice and “drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day”, that is about 1.9 liters. And if you have soup, or rice or anything that boils off water, the amount of fluoride is even more concentrated.

    So why is it considered poisoning if we swallow while brushing, but considered safe if we ingest the same amount or more in a day?

  12. Fluoride is a term used to describe substance with combined Fluorine atoms.
    Which flavor is best? Fluorine combined with calcium, sodium or silicic acid?

    Prozac is fluoride by definition, with three fluorine atoms per molecule, it’s good for your teeth!

    Fluoride is a drug which is casually administered to us all at uncontrolled doses.

    Jake, and the rest of you do not consider effects of dosage over time.

    Water fluoridation is an atrocity. Children are the principal victims. Watch videos,
    download Harvard study revealing fluoridated children with lower IQs:

    Love ya,


  13. Also, the recommended usage for children under six is a pea-sized amount, you say contains .3 mg of Fluoride. So, you should call poison control if a child swallows more than a pea-sized amount of toothpaste according to the warning. There’s more than .3 mg of Fluoride in one half Liter of Fluoridated water at 1ppm.

    So, it is true, if a child under six drinks a half Liter (.5 mg of F) of Fluoridated water you should consider that child poisoned.

  14. The 0.15% MFP calculation above is for sodium monofluorophospate. This is only a small portion of over-the-counter toothpastes in the US Market. Most of the toothpaste is 0.243% NaF which yields roughly 1,000 – 1,100 ppm F. Here is the accurate calculation for the fluoride content in these toothpastes. It’s exceptionally safe.

    Calculations #1:
    A 12 oz. glass of water fluoridated at 0.7 mg/l, the amount proposed for the USA, would contain 0.248 mg of fluoride:

    1 glass = 12 ounces of water = 0.3548 liters
    Proposed fluoride concentration: 0.7 mg/l

    0.7 mg/l of fluoridated water x [0.3548 liters/1 glass of water (12 oz)] = 0.248 mg of fluoride per 1 glass (12 oz.)

    Calculation #2: A “pea-sized” (0.25 gram) amount of toothpaste contains approximately the same amount of fluoride as a 12 ounce glass of water.

    Conversions/assumptions and citations:
    0.25 grams = Amount of toothpaste in a “pea-sized dab” recommended for children under 6 (AAPD and ADA recommendations for fluoride toothpaste).

    Typical U.S. toothpaste fluoride concentration: 1000 parts per million (actual range is 850-1,100 ppm F)
    1000 parts per million = 1,000 parts of fluoride per 1,000,000 parts of toothpaste 1 gram (g) = 1000 milligrams (mg)

    0.25 grams of toothpaste x (1000 grams of fluoride/1,000,000 grams toothpaste) = 0.00025 grams = 0.25 milligrams

    • Hi Steve – Thanks for your insights. I am under the impression that the toothpaste makers put in about 0.24% sodium fluoride per volume, which equates to 0.14% fluoride ion weight/volume, which is how PPM is measured, which would take us to about 1400-1500 PPM of fluoride in the tubes of toothpaste. You can see that on the Colgate and Aquafresh boxes if you click on the picture in this article to zoom in and see.

      Thanks for your comment!

      • True, but the calculation you state is weight/volume rather than weight to weight. Adding specific gravity into the calculation will give you the total fluoride ppm. Most toothpastes have a specific gravity of roughly 1.2. This change the amount from 1,450 as you state to 1,100.

  15. I am wondering why the ‘toxic’ (one-time) dose of fluoride is the only thing considered by this article. The problem with ingesting fluoride in water is that you do it daily, for a lifetime. For example, I have read from trusted (scientific) sources that fluoride (as well as chlorine) displaces iodine in the body and depresses thyroid function – both hormone production and immune function. There’s all kinds of research data about it (fluoride) being used successfully to treat hyper-thyroidism…

  16. Soo… pardon my english…
    if I swallowed x maount of poison all at once I better consult with poison control…..and on other hand if I swallowed same amount of poison but in course of few days……it is fine and I can keep watching superball and pay my taxes…….logical……and smart……ill get my retirement funds ready for medical treatments when effects build up and bite me when im 65…

  17. very level headed article. I appreciate that.

    To follow up, most of the criticism I see for fluoride exposure is it’s cumulative chronic effects. And I will say that the difficulty in finding what the lethal dose for acute fluoride poisoning is the variablility of individual detoxification abillities. The ingestion of iodine will compete with fluoride on thyroid receptors (which is where I assume death occurs.

    How does fluoride kill? Does it simply denature the body’s enzymes to the point that nothing in your biochemistry gets done? Some are better at producing enzymes than others. The better question, since we are talking about systemic low level doses over a lifetime, is what are the possible debilitative effects of fluoride in the body? (beyond just superficial fluorosis) hypothyroidism? cretinism? I would think that since it interferes with thyroid hormone production, metabolism would be affected, which assumes a whole cascade of problems… but, oh we’ll just give it a new name Metabolic Syndrome. Job well done. gimmie my paycheck so I can pay my college/house/car/wifey off.

    so, are there any studies investigating any chronic effects of 1ppm water exposure?


    The original version of this story/saying is that a pea-sized portion of toothpaste has the same fluoride content as a glass of water, WHICH IS 100% TRUE. So, its much less than One liter of water. its just a glass worth of tap water with so-called “fluoride” that poisons you.


    Next, I’ve seen it myself, some toothpaste labels really do say if you swallow more than a pea-sized amount of toothpaste, call poison control center.


    The artificial types of fluoride added to tap water and to toothpaste are poisonous by-products of industry, which cause cancer and lower IQ levels. These poisonous forms of fluoride are: SODIUM FLUORIDE, which is in toothpaste, and FLUOROSILICIC ACID, which is added to drinking water.

    The natural form of fluoride that is healthy, and naturally occuring in some drinking water, is called CALCIUM FLUORIDE. If you believe fluoride, which is a topical medication and has no protective effect when ingested, has any health benefits for childrens teeth, then its the CALCIUM FLUORIDE which must be used, not the toxic by-product forms of fluoride.

    • Provide credible sources for your claims, please. If you cannot, I’m afraid you wasted your time posting such a lengthy comment.

  19. If fluoride can kill you is there any reason we should i jest it at all? Harvard school of medical helth has done studies concluding the body stores extra fluoride in your brain like mercury or led and can drop a child who drinks fluoridated waters iq 15 points, this has ben mirrored by China who has a high amount of nattuly occulting flouride. If anyone is pro flour ode im curious if you know most of the fluoride people drink is a toxic byproduct of the amulinum/steal/fertilizer industry and the fluoride you drink used to come out of the smokestacks of these plants into the air, but now it’s trapped in a filter at the top of the smokestacks and barreled unrefined to be sold to your city so they can add it to your water sound good for you teeth? Natural fluoride in small ammounts .1-.7ppm may help your teeth and not cause damage. But there’s no way drinking waste products of industry is good for you.

  20. You cant find proof of flourish being good for you Becuse there is none if dentist fluorosis occurs thats just a case of fluoride poisoning and your teeth are reflecting your whole inside of your body which is being revenged by fluoride AVOID IT! The nazis put fluoride in there water to make the Jews “stupid and submissive” do some research on it yourself no one outside the cdc will stand up for fluoride.

  21. Thank you for posting such a great article. I just realized my kids could get too much fluoride in their system. This is one of the only articles I have found in two days of searching that makes sense to me. My kids are taking fluoride drops due to I have well water. As of Friday I have stopped them. Do you know how long fluoride stays in the body? I am so nervous they have had too much intake at times of fluoride as my 2 year old likes to eat it. I only give a pea size but at times she has had more. My son is 4. They have only been on drops for 17 months. At times I forget to give the drops to them. As well as we miss morning brushing at times I am hoping I did not screw up their teeth.

  22. Fluoride, so 20th century. Wake up America, why does 98% of Europe ban putting fluoride in their public water supplies including China? Because they woke up. America is a facist country. Corporations own the Government. Sad but true. Protect your family, use common sense and know nobody is looking out for you but yourself.

  23. It’s a pea sized amount for children. It also states only .2ml is the amount for children under 9, and there is up to .7ml allowed in drinking water. Plus this is industrial Fluoride byproduct, not naturally occurring fluoride. So how about saying all the facts instead of demeaning the other sides argument. Sodium Fluoride is also on the CDC site under Toxin.

    • Hi Shannon – Most fluoridated drinking water has 0.7 parts per million fluoride. Most toothpaste has anywhere from 1000 to 5000 parts per million fluoride.

  24. Tom,
    Thanks for your well written piece. A few key individuals on the local water board have decided (without public discussion) to remove fluoride from our community water starting in May. While other folks are using anti-fluoride rhetoric that include misstating facts and exaggerations to try justify the decision. Your write-up is very helpful (for one piece of the puzzle) in allowing me to help folks keep things in perspective when comparing fluoridated toothpaste and water. Thank you!

  25. Don’t forget to drink your 8 glasses of water a day, it’s only 2 glasses away from Lethal fluoride poisoning! 😀

    • Hi – That article says it’s 5mg per kg of body weight. Meaning that if you only weigh 1 kilogram, yes it MAY be lethal. However, I’ve never met anyone who only weighs one kilogram.

  26. Hello. Thank you for the article it was very informative! However I believe you didn’t address your patient’s original concern. Many of these people have heard of the damaging neurological effects fluoride can have (especially on younger people). These effects aren’t toxic or fatal, which is what your article seems to orbit around. If you were able to properly address the specific concern of fluroide’s negative impact on mental health I think that would help everyone with being worried

  27. I see that you’re still replying to questions–how generous of you! I’ve got a medical mystery that has fluoride component, so I’ll state it here in hopes of you or someone else being able to shed some light.

    You can tell by how it starts off…

    My late husband had a quirk. After he’d finished brushing his teether, he did not ever rinse his mouth with water or spit into the sink. Whatever he’d added to his mouth (toothpaste) and dislodged from his teeth went down his esophagus and into his stomach. He began slowing down and becoming passive and apathetic in his late 40s, and was dead at age 53 of an “atypical” dementia, the symptoms of which didn’t suggest any of the well-known diseases. The one symptom I recall was that he’d often stop what he was doing and describe something very interesting that he could see, which seemed to be a geometric overlay on geometric objects in his field of vision, like a doorway with a window behind it. They weren’t the typical vivid hallucinations of people or animals that Dementia with Lewy Body patients describe. He didn’t have the disinhibition you’d expect in frontal lobe dementia. I don’t know why Alzheimer’s wasn’t suspected, or what exactly made his case atypical. He did undergo various brain scans and a lumbar puncture, though. I regret to say that I was dealing with stage 4 cancer at the time of his death, and his sister had the mortuary override his lifelong wish to become an organ donor. He was cremated without anyone having a chance to examine his brain. (There’s no law that requires anyone to honor the pink dot we Californians display on our driver’s license to indicate we’d like our organs used for science or medicine.) It’s a crying shame, because he’d been seen by world-class researchers at his alma mater, UCLA, including Dr. Gary Small. The gift would have been doubly meaningful, given the financial hardship he overcame to become a student and graduate from UCLA’s School of Theater, Film and Television.

    So, my question is about the risk to one’s nervous system of cumulative exposure by oral intake of a pea-sized amount of fluoridated toothpaste, at least once daily, over a period as long as 45 years. Could it possibly have been the cause of his decline and death?

    For what it’s worth, I’d begun noticing some weakness in his thinking ability about 5 years before he became markedly anhedonic and apathetic. Physically, until the last couple of years, he was as healthy and robust as a person could be. He barely drank, didn’t smoke, and rode a bicycle to work for most of his life, about 7 miles each way.

  28. I may have an answer! If he was using Crest or Colgate (or pretty much any toothpaste that is not called Pro-Namel), he may have been poisoned. My dad has done some health research, and has stumbled upon information that affects what toothpaste to use. Pro-Namel is a safe toothpaste, made with only natural ingredients. Everything else is filled with unnatural ingredients to make it cheaper. They say it is allowed because you’re not supposed to swallow it. But someone did. And look what happened. All but Pro-Namel (unless you find more) have toxic chemicals within them. When done brushing with Crest or Colgate (and others), make sure you rinse your mouth thoroughly, and eat something to dilute poisons. Or you can use Pro-Namel. This is not an advertisement, it is a warning about health. Also, when you rinse out your mouth thoroughly, it doesn’t get everything off. You will end up digesting some whether you know it or not. Be warned that these poisonous chemicals in toothpaste can be fatal (as or more than drugs and smoking).

  29. Fluoride is a class 3 neurotoxin that even in tiny
    quantities cause irreversible harm over time.

    BUT! I think it’s important to brush with it !
    I have an RO filter to provide clean drinking water,
    everybody should have one, even if you have a well
    I used Toms fluoride free for 3 years , and just finished paying
    the bill for (6) teeth being removed !!! I was told by a chemist
    that there is a hardening action from it.

    So, don’t drink it, but do brush with it in minimal amounts.

  30. If you are an idiot and many of those posting on this site are, please continue to consume mass quantities of Hexafluorosilicic acid! The “Fluoride” that is being added to toothpaste and drinking water is a Hazardous Waste byproduct of the fertilizer and aluminum industries! These industries are bound by law to dispose of this hazardous waste in an appropriate manner! Re labeling a Hazardous Waste and then selling it to communities to add to the water supply may be “legal” but it is completely immoral! What better way of disposing of a hazardous waste than to feed it to the Sheeple and tell them its good for them? Look at China, a country that is not known for its consumer safety record, has banned the use of fluoridated drinking water for more than 30 years?! The offices of the EPA in Washington DC assure the citizens of the greater DC metro area that the fluoridated tap water coming out of their faucets is “healthy” and “good” for them and their teeth! Guess what? The folks at the EPA in DC have Special non fluoridated bottled water dispensers installed in their offices and use taxpayer dollars to pay for it?! Maybe the water aint so “healthy? Kinda makes ya wonder if the folks in our governmental agencies are being truthful, don’t it? I guess I was wrong to suggest that the “fluoride consumers” are idiots! Those of you who consume fluoride willingly and allow your children to do so are not idiots, you are super douche nozzle phukin morons!

  31. Hey Ars*hole, Fluoride is a cumulative poison – you excrete only about half what you ingest. Plus it’s the active ingredient in Prozac. Fluoride mimics iodine in your body, disrupting thyroid hormone, creating Hypothyroid-conditions. It’s why in 1936 the Germans and the Italians gave Fluoride to patients with overactive thyroids, a treatment that was successful in both countries. The amount it took to normalize a patient’s fluoride levels in these cases is the same amount added to water supplies. Fluoride creates mucin, a high-molecular-weight sugar that acts like a fat in your body, causing obesity. It also causes bone cancer. Fluoride exposure disrupts the synthesis of collagen, leading to the breakdown of collagen in bone, tendon, muscle, skin, cartilage, lungs, kidney and trachea. Ingested Flouride is stored mainly in the bones, where it increases the density but changes the internal architecture of your bones themselves, which makes your bones more brittle and prone to fracture. This is why you are instructed to call the poison centre if you swallow it – it literally does nothing useful for teeth, and if it did, there is absolutely no way it could possibly do anything remotely useful for teeth when swallowed in drinking water.


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