Avoiding fluoride

There are a number of actions you and your family can take to reduce total exposure to fluoride
Our mission: to end fluoridation

Fluoride Free Australia’s mission is to end the practice of adding toxic fluoridation chemicals to our public water supplies. We will achieve this by increasing public awareness about the truth of fluoride. However, until this unsafe, unethical and scientifically defunct practice is ended, we want to help the Australian public reduce their fluoride intake as much as possible.

Please note: the information we provide is general and we do not endorse, recommend or guarantee any specific product or the information provided by any filter company or bottled water product.

A general caveat

It is possible to reduce and limit your exposure to fluoride, but it’s often difficult to remove 100 per cent of that fluoride. Most Reverse Osmosis (RO) filters , for example, are capable of removing around 90 to 95 per cent of the fluoride. But even when RO water filters are used to remove most of the fluoride, there are multiple other sources of fluoride exposure due to the general water supply containing artificial fluoridation chemicals. Most processed foods and beverages will therefore contain fluoride.

A typical 'under-the-sink' multi-stage reverse osmosis water filter
Methods to reduce oral intake of fluoride

1. Don’t drink fluoridated water

i) Water filtration
Most ‘jug’, gravity or counter-top water filters use an ‘activated carbon’ filter that are not able to remove fluoride. However there are some new jug/gravity filters that claim to remove most of the fluoride. The most common and most effective way of removing fluoride is by using a Reverse Osmosis filter – a deionizer that uses ion-exchange resin and sometimes activated alumina to remove micro-particles. A well-known side effect with RO filters, however, is that they also remove other minerals. There are many multi-stage RO filters available, with prices starting around $90 for portable versions that don’t require plumbing. As a guide, an average under-the-sink version requiring plumbing, might cost around $300 before installation. There is a huge variety of multi-stage RO filters available on eBay and there are many water filter suppliers in Australia.

ii) Spring water
Generally, spring water contains very low levels of fluoride. The fluoride naturally occurring in spring water (calcium fluoride) is also different to the source and form of fluoridation chemicals added to our drinking water. Largely, the natural levels of spring water fluoride is well below 0.1 ppm and often 15 to 20 times less than levels in artificially fluoridated water. For a comprehensive list of bottled water (including spring water) and associated fluoride levels, click here. This list provides several options for purchasing bottled water containing very low levels of fluoride. There are also several companies that can deliver spring water to your home.

Bottled spring water is one way of avoiding fluoride, but this option is already a worldwide environmental disaster!
An example of a simple water distillation system

iii) Water distillation
Distillation is an effective way of removing fluoride from water. Whereas many RO water filters need to be installed directly under the sink with plumbing involved, a distillation unit is a separate device that can be stored on your counter top. Distillation involves boiling the water and then condensing the steam to effectively separate unwanted elements.

2. Use non-fluoride toothpaste and do not swallow any fluoride toothpaste (especially for children).
In the United States a warning label is added to every fluoride toothpaste packaging clearly stating: “Do not swallow, contact poison control or seek medical help if swallowed”. It is therefore wise to rinse your mouth thoroughly after brushing and to avoid swallowing anything during brushing, if you are using a fluoride toothpaste. Young children, especially under the age of 8, should be supervised and encouraged not to swallow and to rinse their mouths properly after brushing their teeth. Avoid buying sweet-tasting or flavoured toothpaste, as these often encourage a child to swallow. Fluoride toothpaste can provide the largest single dose of fluoride ingestion for young children and subsequently a risk factor for dental fluorosis.

3. Eat more fresh, natural foods (eat less processed and junk foods)
The processing of packaged food and beverages normally involves the use of mains fluoridated reticulated water and therefore most processed foods contain fluoridation chemicals. If you wish to reduce your fluoride, you should consider consuming less processed foods and eating more fresh, natural foods with a diet especially rich in fresh fruit and vegetables and whole grains. Not only will this measure reduce your overall fluoride intake, it will of course help to improve your overall health and reduce the chance of disease. When cooking at home, also consider using spring or filtered water to cook and prepare food. Sources and levels of fluoride in various foods and beverages can be found here.

Eating a broad range of fresh fruit and vegetables and whole grains will not only reduce fluoride ingested but improve your overall health and help ward off disease.
Most nonstick pans are coated with polytetrafluoroethylene, also known as Teflon

4. Avoid cooking with non-stick/Teflon pans
Some research has found that cooking with Teflon-coated pans can significantly increase the fluoride content of food. Consider using stainless steel cookware instead.

5. Be aware of fluorinated medication
Many pharmaceuticals are fluorinated, which means they contain a “carbon-fluorine bond.” Although this bond is strong enough to resist breaking down within the body, this is not always the case. Some fluorinated medications have been found to metabolize into fluoride within the body and this can greatly increase a person’s exposure to fluoride. 

Some European countries still have fluoridated salt.

6. Don’t use fluoridated salt
Fluoridated salt is not available in Australia but some countries unfortunately allow the sale of fluoridated salt. If you live in a country where fluoridated salt is available, make sure that the salt you buy is unfluoridated. Consumption of fluoridated salt can significantly increase a person’s fluoride exposure. To see a list of countries that allow fluoridated salt, click here.

7. Say no to fluoride gel applications

Several studies have shown that fluoride gel applications or fluoride varnish are not effective. Dental researchers have also stated that fluoride gel treatment should ONLY be used for patients with the highest risk of cavities. And yet many dentists continue to apply fluoride gels. This procedure involves using an extremely concentrated, acidic fluoride gel (around 12,000 ppm fluoride). Inevitably the fluoride is absorbed through the gums and sublingually and it is difficult not to swallow some of the gel. Significant amounts of fluoride can therefore be ingested and some patients have experienced very strong adverse reactions. If your dentist asks if you want a fluoride gel treatment, say NO!

A typical fluoride gel application involving around 12,000ppm fluoride using a 'mouth-guard' tray.
Let’s do this together!

Protecting yourself and your family from the adverse health effects of fluoride and fluoridation chemicals is, of course, a priority. But once you’ve done that, we hope you will join us and help stop this absurd process – for the benefit of all Australians and ultimately for the benefit of all fluoridating countries worldwide.

If you believe individuals should have a choice whether a chemical used to treat people should be added to our drinking water, please consider joining us. There are various ways you can support us or become involved….