How to Reduce Fluoride Exposure

Toothpaste isn't the only everyday source of fluoride. (Photo Mix)
Toothpaste isn’t the only everyday source of fluoride. (Photo Mix)

If you’re looking to reduce your intake of fluorine and fluoride (one is the element, one is the ion), it may help you to know what everyday products contain them and what steps you can take to limit your exposure:

  • Don’t drink unfiltered public water. Assume it’s fluoridated unless you know otherwise. Most home water filters will not remove fluoride.
  • Don’t take fluoride supplements.
  • Try to limit drinking soda because it’s generally made with fluoridated water. Reconstituted fruit juice, beer, and wine also tend to be made with fluoridated water. Read labels on bottled beverages and look for water purifed using reverse osmosis or distillation. If those processes are not specifically named, assume the water is fluoridated.
  • Read the label on bottled water. Again, look for water purified using reverse osmosis or distillation.
  • Consider using unfluoridated toothpaste.
  • Avoid drinking black or red tea. Black and red tea come from two different types of plants, but both leaves naturally contain high amounts of fluorine. If you drink tea, brew it yourself, using unfluoridated water.
  • Choose organic fruits and vegetables since the US National Organic Program does not permit the use of the pesticides that leave high fluoride residues.
  • Expect tinned fish and canned food items to contain fluoride.
  • Avoid or limit your consumption of mechanically deboned chicken in any form, including chicken nuggets, canned chicken, and baby food. Traces of fluoride (from bones) remain from the deboning process.
  • Fluoride may be used as a preservative in many products.Sometimes you will be able to see this on the product label.
  • Avoid black or red rock salt or items containing black or red rock salt.
  • Avoid using chewing tobacco.
  • Avoid long term use of medications that contain fluorine.
  • If you use a fluoridated toothpaste, rinse your mouth with water after brushing your teeth.
  • If you need anesthesia, ask your doctor about options using drugs that do not contain fluorine.
  • Avoid overheating Teflon pans while cooking, as some of the Teflon (a fluorine compound) may be released into the air.