In the 1940’s, the process of water fluoridation began when the United States government issued a recommendation of up to 1.2 milligrams of fluoride to be in every liter of water that flows through American homes. The reason behind this was because that there was a need to reduce the number of cavities, which, when left untreated, can lead to significant health problems.
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Today, we have infinitely more ways to get a healthy dose of fluoride throughout our day. Meaning, potential benefits of adding fluoride to our drinking water, now far outweigh the risks.
Luckily, there are filtration systems on the market that greatly reduce, if not eliminate, fluoride residing in your drinking water.
Today we will look at a few of the systems, the benefits that you will get from them, and determine which is the best filter available for purchase. But first, let’s discuss how fluoride affects us.
What is Fluoride?
Fluoride is a natural that is naturally produced mineral in the earth’s crust and can even be found (naturally) in some water sources. Throughout the decades there have been several studies showing that fluoride decreases the rate of tooth decay and helps to prevent cavities.
Benefits of Fluoride
Fluoride certainly is an important element in protecting our pearly whites. It helps to prevent tooth decay, protects our teeth from acidic foods that we ingest, and can even help to eliminate weak spots in your teeth.
All of this is good and important of course, so it almost seems natural to place a small amount of fluoride in our drinking water. The problem with this is, overexposure to fluoride is detrimental to dental hygiene. This means the act of drinking the recommended daily amounts of water (combined with fluoride exposer in dental products) fluoride overexposure is nearly guaranteed.
Why should you remove fluoride from your water?
Fluoride can’t really be bad for you, right? After all, we’ve seen the commercials stating that four out five dentists recommend Colgate toothpaste with fluoride in it! That plus the many benefits of it must mean introducing it to our water is a good thing doesn’t it?
Sure, while it is true that fluoride is an important mineral and us certainly to have it but in moderate amounts. Too much fluoride can lead to a series of medical and dental issues.
One such issue is fluorosis, a condition developed by overexposure to fluoride in the first eight years life. This condition causes mild to extreme discoloration of teeth. Pits in teeth that are easily visible and irregularities on the surface of your teeth.
These stains are difficult to impossible to remove once they set in. Are you still questioning whether you not you need to remove fluoride from your water?
Types of Water Filters
Now that we’ve got an idea of the negative side effects, and some common misconceptions about fluoridated water, let’s take a look at some systems that can help you achieve un-fluoridated water.
In order to do this, you have to know which type of filters that are available and which best fit your needs.
Tap Filters (Faucet Mounted Filtration System)
Tap filters are extremely convenient, they allow you to seamlessly switch from your regular tap water to the crispy taste of perfectly purified aqua by doing nothing more than flipping a switch.
They attach directly to the water faucet, are inexpensive purchases and relatively easy to install.
What you won’t get with a faucet mounted filtration system is the removal of fluoride. You don’t want to get these types of filters if you want something that removes fluoride.
These filters are installed under your counters (they also have some countertop filters that do the same thing) and connect to the water line coming in from the sink. These can filter a lot more water than tap filters capable of handling up to 1,500 gallons of water.
There is a drawback to these water filtration systems is that they are only capable of being used at the sink they are installed at – typically your kitchen sink.
Reverse Osmosis Filters
I had one of these installed in my California home once before and I’ve got to say, the water was as good as any that I’ve tasted before.
These filtration systems and the way they work are somewhat of a mystery to me, so I won’t even try to tell you exactly how it works. What I do know is that it takes the process of osmosis, and reverse it. Somehow creating some of the best tasting water I’ve had.
Of course, they do have drawbacks. They create quite a bit of wastewater because the contaminants need to be flushed out and removed from time to time. Also, you’ve got to wait for enough water pressure to build up before you can even attempt to pour yourself a glass of water.
These offer the most portability (I’m not entirely sure that’s really a selling point for most people though) out of all the water filtration system options. These are your typical Bita or PUR water filters. All you have to do is pour water into the pitcher and let the filter do its work.
The most obvious downside of these carafe filters is that they aren’t able to hold very much water and you’ll have to refill it pretty often. Also, some of them take an extremely long time to filter the water.
Alkapitcher Fluoride Alkaline Water Filter Pitcher
This is one of the most affordable fluoride filter pitchers on the market. It will reduce arsenic, pesticides, sediment, chlorine, organic pollutants, and of course fluoride. Reducing all of these will undoubtedly improve the taste of your water, but it will also remove any of the subtle odors you may notice coming from your water.
This water pitcher (at 2.5 liters) is large enough to keep your entire family hydrated for the whole day. The removable filter that comes with it will last for up to 60 days (or 200 liters of water) before it needs to be replaced.
It is made of BPA free plastic, is dishwasher safe, and is heavy enough to be confident that it won’t break during the cleaning process. If you do have any issues with the product, the manufacturer offers a 30-day money back guarantee once you return the product.
Should you get this one?
If you are looking to get your first fluoride filtration system, but do not want to invest too much money on your first purchase, this product will give you a very good indication of just how well fluoride filtration systems work.
Aquagear Water Filter Pitcher
This filtration system is made in the United States, is 100 percent BPA free, and made of FDA approved food grade materials. The Aquagear is rigorously tested to ensure that it not only meets but exceeds NSF standards to be able to reduce contamination.
The Aquagear has extremely high-quality filters that can produce 150 gallons of water and lasts nearly three times longer than normal water filters, saving you a ton of money on new water filters.
Also, it removes 2,000 percent more contaminants than Brita water filters.
The contaminants that it can remove are lead, fluoride, chromium, mercury, chlorine, and chloramines. It is capable of removing all of these contaminants without taking out some of the healthy minerals such as calcium and magnesium in your water.
Aquagear stands by their product and offers the consumer a lifetime guarantee of their water pitcher. Plus, they will replace it free of charge if it ever were to break.
Is this the water filter for you?
The pitcher is very well designed and removes almost all of the minerals that cause bad tasting water. The water that comes from this filter has a taste that is on par with many of the high priced bottled water companies without the price tag.
The major issue with this system is how slowly the water pours out of the filter. This can be incredibly frustrating at times that you just want to drink your filtered water now. It can take more than an hour to filter.
Lake Industries Alkaline Water Pitcher
When you need an inexpensive water filter that won’t just remove the fluoride in your tap water, but it will also make it completely alkaline. The benefits of alkaline water are still hotly contested, but one thing we know for sure is that it isn’t considered harmful.
Aside from removing the fluoride, this filter will improve the taste of your drinking water. The result? You drink more water, leading to better hydration and better overall health.
The Lake Industry water pitcher is listed at a very generous price and will hold 2.5 liters of your water, enough to last the whole day for a small family. Just fill it up overnight, let the machine work, and your good to go by morning.
Is this the filtration system for you?
If the Ph balance of your drinking water is important to you (and you are looking for an inexpensive way to achieve alkalinity) then this may be perfect for you. You shouldn’t expect the water to be filtered at blistering speeds. It should also be noted that this device doesn’t specifically target fluoride, and isn’t claiming to remove it completely. However, it will minimize the amount of fluoride found in your water.
Naples Naturals Alkaline Waer Pitcher.
This 6-stage carbon water filter, filters solids, chlorine, fluoride, heavy metals, and toxins. All while making your water taste amazing (that’s really just a byproduct of filtering your water though).
For such a small device you will be getting plenty of life out of it. The filter lasts up to 60 days or filters 300 liters of water, equalling a mere ten cents per bottle of water.
It is a visually appealing device and comes in three different colors (green, black, or sky blue).
Should you get the Naples Naturals?
The Naples Naturals gives you good quality without having to spend too much money to get it.
However, if you find yourself drinking a lot of water, or you have a large family, then you may want to get something a little larger. Otherwise, you will find yourself replacing filters way too often. Turning this inexpensive filter into one that cost entirely too much.
APEC Water Systems
This is a little different than the other types of water filtration systems on this list, but it is one of the most effective out there. The APEC uses reverse osmosis to purify your drinking water, guaranteeing purity in every glass.
however, there are two downsides to this system. One being the installation process (it can be quite frustrating if you aren’t mechanically inclined). The other being that this is not a system that you can take with you (once you install it, it is pretty much there to stay).
The good – excuse me – the great thing about reverse osmosis filtration is that it is the most effective and efficient way to filter your drinking water. It removes everything from fluoride to chlorine and gives some of the best tasting water you’ll ever have.
Is APEC the right solution for you?
Truthfully, reverse osmosis systems can be a bit intimidating, especially so if you aren’t confident in your installation prowess. But if you are the mechanically savvy type, and installing these isn’t a deterrent for you then you can’t go wrong with this.
Of course, because it is installed directly under your kitchen sink you won’t be able to take it with you. So you definitely will need to take that into consideration.
pH Revive by Invigorated Water
This is one of my favorite little items. It raises the ph balance of your water up to 9.5. This is said to improve cognitive clarity and slow down the aging process, among other things (these claims are not confirmed). That isn’t really why I love this bottle though.
the real reason I like the pH Revive is that it’s your own personal water filtration system. Plus the bottle is freaking awesome looking. It holds 25 ounces of water, has a carrying case, and results in perfectly thirst-quenching h2o. Once you get used to using this bottle, you will never leave home without it.
What I don’t like about it
For one, the filters don’t last very long (only filtering 255 cups before it needs replacement). The filters aren’t cheap either. Another issue I have is that it only removes twenty percent of the fluoride in your water.
Should you get the pH Revive?
If you want a small bottle that you can carry around with you everywhere you go, then I think you’ve found what you’re looking for. Unfortunately, it doesn’t eliminate all of the fluorides, but it does remove 20% of it for you.
Royal Berkey Water Filter System
The king of portable water filtration systems is here. The Boroux system will look good sitting in any kitchen, provided you have space to house it (it is a large unit). There are size options ranging from 1.5 to 6 gallons of the purest h2o you’ll ever have the pleasure of consuming.
It includes six items, 40-ounce double wall stainless steel vacuum bottle, stainless steel water filter, 2 purification elements, and two fluoride filters. Yes, this system removes all fluoride from your drinking water.
These filters are among the most powerful gravity filters available, removing 99.9 percent of the toxins found in tap water. Best of all, the flow rate is fast enough to let you’ll get your water quickly.
Is the Boroux Royal the one for you?
Well, if you are serious about getting the purest, best-tasting water without having to wait several hours for it to flow through the filtration systems, then yes.
However, this water filter is going to cost you significantly more than some of the other more basic models. It absolutely is worth the investment though.
Invigorated Water pH Recharge Alkaline Water Ionizer
The pH Recharge is one of the absolute best countertop filtration systems. It can hold up to 2.6 gallons of water and has three multi-stage alkaline water filters that give you very fast filtration times.
The filter removes pollutants like chlorine, heavy metals, arsenic, lead and of course, fluoride. It can also remove water discoloration, any odors coming from your water, and creates a delicious and satisfying taste.
This product shines in its filter design. It removes 99.9% of the pollutants and filters 288 gallons of water before needing new filters. The manufacturer will also offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee – if you don’t like your filter, get your money back.
Should you get this water filter?
If you want the best filtration system possible, without purchasing an under-counter system, this is worth looking into. Not only does your water taste incredible, but it also passes through the filter quickly letting you drink sooner.
Of course, with such an intricate design and excellent quality of this product, you can expect to pay top dollar.
History of Water Fluoridation
The story behind water fluoridation and how it started is an interesting one. In the very early 1900’s a dental school graduate found that children in certain towns had severe discoloration of their teeth. This condition was later found to be related to extreme levels of fluoride in the drinking water within the area.
It turned out that fluoride greatly decreases the rate of tooth decay, however, it also caused staining and browning of the teeth when ingested in larger quantities. The end result was a decision to add (or remove) fluoride to the water at “1 part per million”.
Misconceptions of Water Fluoridation
For decades now, the conversation surrounding process of water fluoridation has been a hotly contested one. With some saying that it is 100% safe and is only beneficial to the public. While others (including some dentists and other health experts) have spoken out against adding fluoride to water supplies.
Rates of tooth decay are down because of water fluoridation
Water fluoridation has been touted as one of the greatest advancements in dental health, claiming that it is the cause of decreased tooth decay. Sure fluoridation may play a role, but there is significant evidence that suggests it isn’t the root cause.
In fact, tooth decay began to decrease well before fluoridation began. Furthermore, rates of decay have continued to decrease in areas that no longer practice water fluoridation.
Fluoride is approved by the FDA
Naturally, if your city is adding fluoride to your drinking water one would assume that the FDA has approved and regulates the substance.
But….. you would be wrong.
Fluoride is actually on an unapproved new drug list, and the FDA is not in charge of overseeing water fluoridation practices.
There are no negative side effects to water fluoridation
There is a laundry list of issues that crop up with the consumption of fluoride including; cardiovascular issues, skeletal fluorosis, kidney disease, thyroid disease, gastrointestinal issues, and a slew of other issues.
Did you know the FDA now requires poison warning to be placed on toothpaste with fluoride in it?
Water fluoridation is a practice all modern nations partake in
Incorrect. In fact, fluoridation is a rarity in most modern nations that are not the United States, with only 3% of the Western European population consuming fluoridated water.
Wrap – Up
Fluoride has been connected to various diseases like thyroid issues and even stunted brain development in growing children. In the times we live in, it is not necessary to have fluoride in our drinking water. The filters discussed will significantly reduce the amount of fluoride found in the public drinking water.
The most cost-effective and versatile filter is the Aqua Gear Water Pitcher. You’ll get portability and delicious tasting water (without fluoride of course) at a very enjoyable price.
Image credit via Flickr Creative Commons: Your Best Digs