First, a very brief history of fluoride...
Fluoride is a ubiquitous chemical formula that's found in a number different environments on the earth. Fluoride can exist in the air as a gas, but also as a particulate in the soil, industrial materials, and volcanoes. During sometime in the 1800s, the relationship between fluoride exposure and tooth decay started to become observed. However, it wasn't until a dentist by the name of Fredrick McKay started his research on fluoride did the science become withstanding. McKay studied the phenomenon of certain peoples living in the United States who drank water rich in fluoride and who subsequently became resistant to dental caries. This dental phenomenon became colloquially known as "Colorado brown stain." Colorado for the location of where it occurred, and "brown-stain" for the dark coloring that was common on the local people's teeth. Shortly after McKay's research was published, during the 1950s and 60s, the United States would begin the practice of adding fluoride to the public tap water. Fluoridation from that point on would become a public health policy for the inhabitants of the entire United States.
Now that we've got the history out of the way, we can address the question: is fluoride an essential nutrient?
Well, according to the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health...no. In a public health paper, researchers reported that "Fluoride is not essential for human growth and development, but it is beneficial in the prevention of dental caries." The scientists then go on to mention that in fluoride's case, too much of a good thing is certainly not good for one's health. "Several studies show that excessive long-term fluoride intake through water consumption can lead to a range of adverse effects on health such as skeletal and dental fluorosis."Just because fluoride can have a positive topical benefit when applied directly to the teeth doesn't mean it will provide any nutritional benefits once ingested and delivered to the rest of the body. Unlike certain minerals like magnesium and calcium, which are naturally occurring, fluoride has to be added into the tap. And unlike these minerals, which play a critical role within the health of the body, fluoride has no purpose within the rest of the body. In fact, once fluoridated tap water is moved from the stomach and passed on to the rest of the digestive system, it becomes the work of the kidneys to pass it from the body.
What can you do if you no longer want to drink fluoridated water?
Easy. You can filter fluoride from your tap water using the Aquagear home filter pitcher. Aquagear is the only filter pitcher that is independently lab tested to remove 90% of fluoride from your tap water.