Wednesday, August 16, 2017 by Tracey Watson
If asked to think of an image of something clean and pure in nature, many people would picture a waterfall or stream. Genuine, natural spring water, from a clean source, which hasn’t been tampered with or had piles of chemicals added to it, is highly sought after for its mineral content and other health benefits. Of course, many bottled waters are really just glorified tap water and not worth the extra expense. Nonetheless, a claim by the Daily Mail that bottled water is somehow worse for your teeth because it isn’t loaded with fluoride is ludicrous, to say the least.
A recent article in the Mail notes that some popular brands of bottled water might be bad for your teeth because 1) they contain pH levels that are too acidic, and 2) because they do not contain added fluoride.
The article explains that pH levels can fall anywhere between zero and 14, with 7 being neutral. Numbers below 7 represent high acidity, while anything over 7 would be alkaline. Acidic drinks like sodas and coffee are known to be bad for your teeth, causing staining and even cavities.
The Mail claims that several of the bottled water brands its in-house team tested had acidity levels in the “dangerous” zone, and should therefore be avoided.
Dr. Eunjung Jo of Astor Smile Dental explains, “Our enamel starts to erode at a pH level of 5.5 so it’s best to avoid any drinks with a pH that is lower than 5.5.”
This all sounds reasonable, and if you do choose to buy bottled water from a reputable source rather than filtering your own, it does make sense to be on the lookout for a more alkaline brand.
Nonetheless, the article’s second claim, that the lack of added fluoride in bottled water is somehow damaging to your health, is quite simply false, though that is the narrative which is always fed to the mainstream media by medical professionals and government departments alike.
According to the Mail, fluoride is a “healthy ion that is good for tooth enamel.”
Children are urged to consume as much fluoride as possible, since their teeth are still developing. This supposedly protects against cavities and prevents hypo-fluorosis, a condition which causes white marks on teeth.
“If they are not drinking a significant amount of tap water and are only drinking filtered, bottled water without measured levels of fluoride, then they could developmentally have problems,” according to Dr. Tema Starkman of High Line Dentistry. “The studies say that during the developmental stage of growth for children, accurate fluoride levels in tap water could contribute to healthy enamel formation.”
Though the dental profession’s concerns about too little fluoride may make sense when taken at face value, it is important to dig deeper and see what the effects are of too much fluoride. (Related: Discover more information about dental hygiene at Dentistry.news)
A 2015 study by researchers from the University of Kent, published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, revealed that people who live in areas with elevated fluoride levels in their water are 30 percent more likely to develop hypothyroidism (also known as an underactive thyroid).
Symptoms of hypothyroidism include feeling cold, fatigue, dry skin, forgetfulness, depression, constipation and weight gain. There is no cure for hypothyroidism, and without treatment symptoms will escalate and worsen over time.
England allows for 1.0mg/L of fluoride to be added to its water supplies, while in the U.S., the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has set the limit at 4.0mg/L.
When the Kent study looked at areas where fluoride levels exceeded 0.7mg/L they found higher than normal levels of hypothyroidism. However, even when they examined areas with just 0.3mg/L of fluoride in the water they found that people were 30 percent more likely to have the condition. (Related: Read more about how this and other studies linked fluoride to hypothyroidism, fatigue, obesity and depression.)
Back home in the United States, a study published in the Journal of the American Dental Association had similarly alarming results. Ironically, the research team discovered that the very fluoride added to water to prevent fluorosis, actually causes it!
An earlier Natural News article reported:
[Y]oung children have the highest risk of severe tooth damage from fluoride, especially those that are six months of age or younger, a time during which children’s blood-brain barriers have not fully formed. Even low ingestion levels cause the direct depositing of fluoride into the teeth, brain and other bodily tissues and organs which, besides causing fluorosis, also causes disorders of the brain and nervous system, kidneys and bones.
Sadly, the American Dental Association has been aware since at least 2006 that fluoride actually causes fluorosis and other problems, but has done nothing to educate dentists or the public about the dangers.
All things considered, even if “natural,” non-fluoridated water does stain your teeth (which is highly unlikely, anyway), that sounds far less risky than drinking fluoridated tap water which is sure to worsen your health.