Still being used as an additive to 70% of the drinking water in the US, Fluoride is the only chemical added to water for the purpose of medical treatment. Most developed countries, including Japan and 97% of the western European population, do not consume fluoridated water. After doing a significant amount of research it seems like this should most certainly be a matter of choice for these reasons:
Fluoride in Drinking Water – Cons
The dose cannot be controlled. Once fluoride is put in the water it is impossible to control the dose each individual receives because people drink different amounts of water. Being able to control the dose a patient receives is critical. Some people (e.g., manual laborers, athletes, diabetics, and people with kidney disease) drink substantially more water than others.
The fluoride goes to everyone regardless of age, health or vulnerability.
Fluoride is not an essential nutrient. No disease, not even tooth decay, is caused by a “fluoride deficiency.”
The level in mothers’ milk is very low. It is perhaps not surprising that the level of fluoride in mother’s milk is remarkably low. This means that a bottle-fed baby consuming fluoridated water may get up to 300 times more fluoride than a breast-fed baby. There are no benefits, only risks, for infants ingesting this heightened level of fluoride at such an early age (an age where susceptibility to environmental toxins is particularly high).
Fluoride accumulates in the body. Healthy adult kidneys excrete 50 to 60% of the fluoride ingested each day (Marier & Rose 1971). The remainder accumulates in the body, largely in calcifying tissues such as the bones and pineal gland (Luke 1997, 2001). Infants and children excrete less fluoride from their kidneys and take up to 80% of ingested fluoride into their bones (Ekstrand 1994). The fluoride concentration in bone steadily increases over a lifetime (NRC 2006).
We could find no health benefits to having fluoride in drinking water. Considering the cons, a good water filter for your family’s drinking water is key.