Fluoride comes from fluorine which is a natural and abundant element. It can be found naturally in water, soil and foods.1,2,3 Fluoride can also be also be found synthetically in water, toothpaste and mouth washes.2,4 Water authorities may also add fluoride to municipal water supply because it has been proven that adding fluoride in areas where fluoride water levels are low can reduce the prevalence of tooth decay to the local population.2,3,5
While low level of fluoride helps to strengthen teeth and protect enamel, too much fluoride can cause dental fluorosis – a discoloration of teeth.1,6 In this condition, fluoride collects in developing teeth, preventing enamel from forming normally. This can cause permanent tooth staining.7,8,9 Dental fluorosis occurs when children between birth and 9 years of age are exposed to high levels of fluoride during critical window when their teeth are forming and can also increase risk of tooth decay. 7,8,9,10
Facts about fluoride
- Once inside the body, fluorides are absorbed into the blood through the digestive tract. They travel through blood and tend to accumulate in areas high in calcium such as bones and teeth.
- Adding fluoride to water supply reduces incidences of tooth decay/cavities by promoting mineralization and making tooth enamel more resistant to acids.
- However, excessive fluoride exposure can lead to dental fluorosis or skeletal fluorosis which can damage joints and bones.
- A fluoride level of 7 ppm is considered the best for dental health and a concentration that is above 4.0 ppm can be hazardous.
- The EPA has set a drinking water standard of fluoride level of between 7 and 1.2 ppm to help protect younger children from dental fluorosis.3,4,5,9
The benefits of fluoride levels in water within the recommended concentration clearly outweigh the risks. But given how common dental fluorosis occurs, it is important to regularly and frequently test our water (some of which include tap water, borehole water, river water, well water, lake water, municipal water, water from filtration plants and bottled water) to protect our population; especially children from preventable dental fluorosis.6,7,9,10 It is important to determine fluoride concentration in drinking water and comparing with acceptable levels to prevent dental fluorosis.
Fluoride water testing from CSI International Ltd
CSI Laboratory Ltd is your all-in-one consultant laboratory for your water analysis needs. We have our presence in Nairobi, Kenya. Our laboratory, accredited by the Kenya Accreditation Service (Laboratory Number: KENAS/TL/48), has a well-equipped chemistry laboratory with the latest analytical techniques and experienced technical team able to effectively assess water fluoride levels for both domestic and commercial purposes.
Our fluoride water testing services include: borehole water, domestic tap water, municipal water, well/spring water, bottled water, water from filtration plants and water for medical purposes. In addition to this, we provide regular monitoring of fluoride water levels in your water supply system and compare it to EPA acceptable limits to protect your household and consumers from excessive fluoride exposure. After analysis, we provide you with a detailed fluoride water testing report that allows you to inspire confidence in your water, enhance productivity and enable you to gain faster access to both local and international markets.
Contact us for Fluoride water testing needs. We aim to provide our unwavering support in Kenya and across the world.