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Fluoridation of water

By Nadia McMorran

Adding fluoride to our water has always been in the hands of local DHB’s, but a new proposed law is suggesting the decision on water fluoridation be turned over to the Director General of Health.

Unfortunately, having it in our water supply means mass medication – when a majority of the population don’t need the additional fluoride to prevent any tooth decay.

Excess fluoride can have a very negative impact on our health – the most obvious is fluorosis, which presents as white spots or discolouration on the teeth. In an area with fluoridated water this is frequently seen in children that were formula fed, due to fluoridated water being used to prepare their bottles. It can have a permanent effect on their teeth due to the excess fluoride consumed damaging the cells that form the teeth. According to The Lancet, it can also damage the developing brain, causing learning deficits and other problems.

The Lancet published, in 2014, that fluoride had been classified as a neurotoxin, and a recent (2016) study carried out in New Zealand found that there was no difference in tooth decay rates of children regardless of whether or not they have a fluoridated water supply. Unfortunately, the Ministry of Health still refers to an older oral health survey from 2009 for their information.

Fluoride is an endocrine disruptor and can affect the thyroid, metabolism and even moods. It can also increase the risk of bone fractures and even bone cancer.

Iodine is an important addition to your diet to counteract the negative effects of excess fluoride, particularly if you live in an area that has it in the water supply, which soon could be the whole country.

Fluoride is a non-essential nutrient that is naturally occurring in food such as spinach, grapes (including raisins and wine!), black tea (it is found in the leaf itself), eggs, milk and potatoes.

Dental researchers have admitted that oral ingestion of fluoride does not prevent tooth decay – topical application on the teeth is the only way it can have any benefit. The best way to prevent tooth decay is through regular, thorough oral hygiene practices and a whole food diet high in essential nutrients and low in processed food. Weston A. Price was a dentist who formulated a diet and lifestyle that could both prevent and reverse tooth decay – there are many resources available if this is something that interests you.

98% of Europe is not fluoridated and only eight countries in the world have more than 50% of the population on fluoridated water; USA, Australia, Ireland, Singapore, Chile, Brunei, Chile and Malaysia.

Fluoride is difficult to filter out of your water supply once it has been added, and generally requires a reverse osmosis system or an advanced distillation system.

For more information concerning fluoridated water supply please go to

Recommended Safety Levels

The Ministry of Health has supplied information on how many glasses of fluoridated water we can drink before it starts to hit low toxic levels. 

Adults 15 and over - 40 glasses per day

5-6yrs - 8.3 glasses per day

7-12 months - 3.6 glasses per day

0-6months - 2.8 glasses per day

For more information visit