Fluoride is a dangerous chemical that can lead to a variety of health risks and since the 1940s, there have been many products have been introduced to consumers.
However, don’t worry too much; here are a few things you can do to decrease your exposure to it.
Filter Tap Water
There are many municipalities that add fluoride to their water and for those who live in these areas, this is the largest daily exposure to it. If you have an infant, it’s especially important that you avoid giving it to them.
One way you can avoid fluoridated water is to use a water filter. However, you must keep in mind that water filters are not created equal; some of them do not remove the fluoride.
You will need a filter that uses reverse osmosis, a deionizer, or activated alumina. Each of these will remove around 90% of the fluoride. On the other hand, an “activated charcoal” filter will not.
If you’re not sure whether or not your municipality adds fluoride, you can contact your local water department to find out.
Don’t Let Children Swallow Toothpaste
When it comes to children, the largest single source of exposure to fluoride is toothpaste because they swallow a lot of the toothpaste they put in their mouth. Therefore, if you have young children, experts recommend that you purchase fluoride-free toothpaste and supervise them to make sure they’re not using too much, and that they rinse and spit when they are finished.
Finally, don’t purchase flavored toothpastes because they usually contain adult-strength concentrations of fluoride.
Avoid Fluoride Gel Treatments
Though research has proven that fluoride gel treatments should only be used on patients who are at a higher risk of cavities, many dentists still use them on all their patients.
The gel that is used is highly acidic, which means saliva glands produce a lot of saliva, which makes it difficult to avoid swallowing some. The next time you visit the dentist and they offer to do a fluoride gel treatment, turn it down.
Choose Fresh Food Instead of Processed
When water contains fluoride, it stands to reason that everything that is made with water also contains it. Generally, the more processed a food is, the more fluoride it will contain.
However, naturally occurring levels of fluoride in fresh water and fresh foods is fairly low in comparison. This information should be enough to nudge you away from processed foods and towards fresh ones. In addition, you’ll want to decrease your consumption of processed beverages.
Choose Organic Wine/Grape Juices
In the US, most of the vineyards use a pesticide known as cryolite, which is high in fluoride. This means that wine/grape juices produced in the US consistently have elevated levels of fluoride.
Therefore, if you consume high amounts of wine/grape juice – or raisins – and you don’t really want to spend the extra money on organic, consider purchasing a European brand instead.
Decrease Consumption of Black and Green Teas
You must be cautious of drinking too much tea, especially instant and bottled. Tea plants accumulate a lot of fluoride and drinking too much tea can lead to significant issues with your bones. However, there are some teas that contain antioxidants, which are good for your health and protect against fluoride toxicity.
However, if you love tea and just can’t do without it, purchase varieties made with younger leaves, and avoid instant/bottled tea, as they are mad with low-quality leaves with lower levels of antioxidants.
Don’t Use Teflon/Non-Stick Pans for Cooking
According to some researchers, cooking with Teflon pans can increase the amount of fluoride in your food. Therefore, consider cooking with stainless steel cookware instead.
Be Aware of Fluoridated Pharmaceuticals
Unfortunately, there are many medications on the market that are fluorinated, which means they contain a carbon-fluoride bond. While this is typically strong enough to resist breaking down in the body, this isn’t always the case.
There are some medications that have been shown to metabolize into fluoride in the body, which increases your exposure to fluoride. Talk to your physician to find out if you are taking any medications with a carbon-fluoride bond and find out if there are alternatives.
Avoid Mechanically Deboned Chicken
There are some meats that are pulverized into a pulp form, such as chicken nuggets/chicken fingers, which are made through a mechanical deboning process. This process increases the bone particles in the meat and since the bones are where the fluoride collects, it means that there are higher levels of fluoride in these foods.
However, you can minimize your exposure to fluoride by decreasing your consumption of these foods.
Don’t Use Fluoridated Salt
There are some countries that allow salt to be fluoridated and sold. If you live in one of these countries, make sure that you’re purchasing un-fluoridated salt instead.
As you can see, there are many ways that you are exposed to fluoride daily. This chemical is dangerous for your overall well-being.
However, there are some things you can do to minimize your exposure and ensure your health for a long time.