You know your toothpaste has fluoride, right? But apart from toothpaste, a lot many things that you consume have fluoride. It is known that fluoride is added to public drinking water source of several communities in US and several other countries to ensure that fluoride reaches you. This fluoride is important in making the tooth enamel stronger and preventing caries. The concentration is less than 1ppm.
Because fluoride is present in the drinking water of several areas, the beverages that are produced in the same region have higher content of fluoride. This is because they are using the same source of fluoridated drinking water to manufacture these beverages. So unknowingly, fluoride is entering your diet.
Why is it important to think about the fluoride consumption?
Excess fluoride intake can cause fluorosis, which causes discoloration of teeth, whitish spots, browning over a period of time, uneven tooth surface, amongst other symptoms. Children are quite susceptible to fluorosis in their growing years. Thus, monitoring their fluoride intake from various sources is important.
Take a look at the beverages that contain fluoride –
- Non-alcoholic drinks – When fluoride is added to the drinking water source, fluoride inevitably finds its way into beverages such as juices, sodas or sports drinks. A lot of studies have been conducted to find out the concentration of fluoride in these drinks. Around 0.6-0.8ppm has been found in various drinks.
- Alcoholic Drinks – Alcoholic drinks such as beer require water for production. If they are using fluoridated water, these drinks contain certain concentration of fluoride. Beer is widely consumed, and it is consumed in a high volumes.
- Tea – Tea plant tends to absorb fluoride from the soil, hence fluoride is found in tea leaves. Thus, the tea that we consume also contains fluoride. The amount of fluoride may depend on the quality of the tea. Older tea leaves have more fluoride than younger ones.
- Beverages from non-organic raw material – The drinks that are made from fruits that are not grown organically may have fluoride. Pesticides used on these fruits have fluoride and its residues are found in the drinks as well. Thus, wines also contain fluoride.
It should not surprise you to know that fluoride doesn’t just come from your toothpaste or fluoride supplements. It is widely present in a lot of food items that we consume. The source being fluoridated water, or pesticides. Excessive use of these over the years have finally made people realize the possible side effects. This is one of the reasons why people prefer organic products, which are grown without using pesticides. Even fluoridation of water, which was a great innovation at one time, is being questioned now as people are more at a risk of overexposure to fluoride, rather than underexposure. Studies show that it can cause health issues, while also having some positive impact in preventing caries.
Keeping the several factors in mind, from dental health to risks of excess intake of fluoride, it is best if you control your intake of these beverages.