Excess fluoridation of drinking water can lead to a condition called fluorosis. This condition is mainly cosmetic, as it leads to brown discoloration and mottling on the teeth, but in severe cases it can also cause calcification in the ligaments and joints. There are ways to minimize your contact to excess fluoridation so that you aren't over-exposed. The following tips will help.
Tip #1: Skip fluoride treatments
If you have high levels of fluoride, decline the fluoride treatments offered by your dentist. You may also want to use dental products that contain no excess fluoride, such as fluoride-free toothpastes and mouthwashes that don't contain fluoride. Fluoride treatments are most often offered to children and adults that have high amounts of cavities. If you aren't cavity prone and you know that the fluoride level in your water is high, there is no reason to have the treatment or to use fluoridated care products.
Tip #2: Switch to bottled water
Bottled water is a good option if you are concerned about the fluoride level in your drinking water. The simplest and most environmentally friendly way to make the switch is to have a bottled water service deliver weekly; this way you can get your water from reusable bottles. Just make sure that the service is pulling the water from a non-fluoridated source.
Tip #3: Get a filter
If bottled water isn't an option, then consider a filter instead. There are three types of filters that can successfully remove fluoride:
Reverse osmosis filters
Activated alumina filters
Avoid activated carbon filters—while readily available and low cost, they are not able to remove fluoride. Reverse osmosis filters are one of the best options for removing fluoride because they are competitively priced and there are whole-house versions—which means all the water coming into your home is fluoride-free. All they need is regular filter changes, so they are also low maintenance. For information on fluoride water filters, contact a company like The Water Exchange.
Tip #4: Check the water
Invest in a water testing kit and use it. Testing will help you know that your filter is working properly; this way you can catch a malfunction or failing filter before you are exposed to too much fluoride. It's also a good idea to periodically check delivered water to ensure that the water source or quality of the source hasn't changed. Monthly testing is usually sufficient.
Contact a water delivery or filter dealer for more information on good quality water and testing kits.