Top 5 Sources of Fluoride (It’s Not Your Toothpaste)

What are the top sources of fluoride? I was surprised to find out…

If you're trying to avoid fluoride, you'll be surprised to learn the hidden places fluoride is lurking.

In this post, I list the top 5 sources of fluoride. And it's not toothpaste or drinking water.

Why Should We Avoid Fluoride?

Fluoride is harmful to human health. Recent studies show that fluoride may not prevent cavities and that in fact, fluoride causes many health problems, from bone loss to breast cancer to hormonal problems including hypothyroidism and ovarian cysts.

Read this post about our former nanny, Jennifer, and how we cured her health problems by removing fluoride from her diet (her story is at the bottom — the section called Jennifer's Story).

She wasn't helped at all by going gluten-free and dairy-free… but just by getting the fluoride out, she was able to cure her chronic migraine headaches, seizures, ovarian cysts, and acne.

How do we avoid the biggest sources of fluoride? I did a lot of research on this and found that the biggest sources of fluoride are not drinking water and toothpaste.

Read on to find out where the vast majority of fluoride that you are consuming is coming from.

Top 5 Sources of Fluoride: Watch the Video

If you're more of visual learner, this video has the same information as this post. In this Facebook livestream video, I walk you through the top 5 sources of fluoride.

Top 5 Sources of Fluoride

Top 5 Sources of Fluoride (It's Not Your Toothpaste or Drinking Water)

#1 Source of Fluoride: Tea and Kombucha

Many of us have switched from coffee to green tea and switched from soda to kombucha in an effort to be healthy. But unfortunately, tea and kombucha are very high in fluoride. According to the USDA National Fluoride Database of Selected Beverages and Foods, tea has 5-10 times more fluoride than a can of soda.

This includes any kind of tea in the camellia sinensis family: black tea, oolong, white, or green tea. It doesn't matter if the tea is organic or not, and fermenting tea into kombucha has no impact on the fluoride.

Recent Study Shows Tea is High in Fluoride

According to a recent study from the Medical College of Georgia, tea probably has much higher levels of fluoride than we thought:

“Most published reports show 1 to 5 milligrams of fluoride per liter of black tea, but a new study shows that number could be as high as 9 milligrams.” (Source: 2010 study from the Medical College of Georgia.)

Most published studies about black tea traditionally have used a method of measuring fluoride that doesn't account for the amount that combines with aluminum to form insoluble aluminum fluoride, which is not detected by the fluoride electrode.

Whitford compared that method with a diffusion method, which breaks the aluminum-fluoride bond so that all fluoride in the tea samples can be extracted and measured.

He tested seven brands of store-bought black tea, steeping each for five minutes in deionized water, which contains no fluoride.

The amount of fluoride in each sample was 1.4 to 3.3 times higher using the diffusion method than the traditional method.

9 milligrams per liter is anywhere from 1.5 to 13 times the fluoride in fluoridated water.

In other words, you would have to drink over 3 quarts of fluoridated water to get the same amount of fluoride as you get in one 8-ounce glass of iced tea.

How To Avoid Fluoride From Tea and Kombucha

This is one of the easiest ways to reduce fluoride in your diet. Just stop drinking tea and kombucha, or limit how much you drink.

A cup every once in a while won't hurt you but this is not something you want to drink on any kind of regular basis. Herbal tea, like chamomile or mint, is fine.

Read my blog post to learn more about fluoride in kombucha and tea.

Top 5 Sources of Fluoride (It's Not Your Toothpaste or Drinking Water)

#2 Source of Fluoride: Teflon & Aluminum Cookware and Bakeware

Top 5 Sources of Fluoride (It's Not Your Toothpaste or Drinking Water)

Teflon, or non-stick, or aluminum pots and pans increase the fluoride in your food. According to a study from 1975 published in the Journal of Dental Research, cooking with teflon increased the fluoride in the food by 3 times.

Top 5 Sources of Fluoride

It's interesting in the chart that the fluoride appears to be reduced in water boiled in the aluminum pan… but I wonder if that's caused by the fluoride bonding with the aluminum and becoming undetectable, as we saw in tea in the the 2010 study from the Medical College of Georgia (see above).

How To Avoid Fluoride From Teflon and Aluminum

Ditch the Teflon and aluminum cookware as soon as possible. Switch to cast iron, enameled cast iron, stainless steel, or glass.

I recommend using any of the following healthy cookware options:

Enameled Cast IronLe Creuset is my absolute favorite brand of enameled cast iron cookware. I'm slowly collecting it over the years.

Stainless Steel Pots and Pans – Here's a basic set of pots and pans from Cuisinart that is very affordable and high quality, similar to the set I have.

Cast Iron Pans – I have four or five cast iron skillets like this one in different sizes. I use them daily for eggs and breakfast sausage and bacon, and all kinds of stuff.

Glass Baking Dishes – I have several Pyrex baking dishes that we use for everything from lasagna to enchiladas to shepherd's pie.

Granite Ware – Granite Ware is a good, very affordable choice. You have to make sure it's real Granite Ware made in the USA, not the cheap knock-off kind. I bought this Granite Ware roaster — you can get on Amazon. I love it. Great for roasting chickens and turkeys; very lightweight.

Instant Pot Pressure Cooker – I own two Instant Pot pressure cookers. This is the only electric pressure cooker I recommend because it has a stainless steel bowl, not Teflon.

VitaClay Rice Cooker – The VitaClay rice cooker has a clay bowl instead of Teflon. It makes perfect rice, and I use it for all my slow cooking. I actually prefer my VitaClay to my Instant Pot for most dishes. It cooks almost as fast as the InstantPot (when you factor in the time it takes to pressurize the InstantPot) but you it cooks more evenly. I actually got rid of my crockpots — I use this instead because it cooks so much more evenly.

#3 Source of Fluoride: Non-organic Fruits, Vegetables, Juices and Wine

Top 5 Sources of Fluoride (It's Not Your Toothpaste or Drinking Water)

Fruits and vegetables, if they are not organic, are one of the biggest sources of fluoride in our diet. It's ironic because when we try to eat healthier and start eating more salads and drinking more fruit juice, and we end up getting a lot more fluoride as a result.

The reason for this is fruits and vegetables that are grown conventionally (not organic) are sprayed with fluoride-based pesticides.

According to the Fluoride Action Network:

“In 2004, the US Department of Agriculture published the National Fluoride Database of Selected Beverages and Foods – but this was before the US gave the green light for sulfuryl fluoride as a food fumigant and approved extremely high levels of fluoride on food.

FAN has not been able to locate any US EPA-approved laboratory that will test foods for their fluoride content. In fact, the director of one laboratory told us,“It’s easier to test hazardous waste for fluoride than it is to test fluoride levels in corn flakes.”

Which Non-organic Fruits, Vegetables, Juices and Wine Contain the Most Fluoride?

Cryolite is the main fluoride-based pesticide that is used on fruits and vegetables. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, cryolite is predominantly used on grapes, potatoes and citrus fruit (orange, grapefruit, lemon, lime, tangelo, tangerine).

In addition, according to FAN, cryolite is also used on apricot, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, collards, eggplant, kale, kiwifruit, kohlrabi, lettuce, melon, nectarine, peach, pepper, plum, pumpkin, squash (summer & winter), tomato, and a number of berries.

So, yeah, that's kind of like almost everything, isn't it?

Wine that is made with grapes that are not organic is very high in fluoride. This is why your best bet is to use this to buy organic wine. Most imported wines are also not going to be high in fluoride.

The Hidden Cause of Acne by Melissa Gallico

Melissa Gardner, who wrote the book, The Hidden Cause of Acne: How Toxic Water Is Affecting Your Health and What You Can Do about It (which I highly recommend; read my review here), is an interesting case study.

In the book, she explains that she would get acne breakouts whenever she was exposed to fluoride. Melissa said that she could safely drink wine most European wine with no problems. And she said that she could drink most wine from the United States except for wine made with grapes from the Fresno/ San Joaquin/Central Valley region of California.

How To Avoid Fluoride From Fruits, Vegetables and Wine

  • Buy only organic fruits and vegetables.
  • Buy wine that is organic, made with organic grapes, or imported.
Top 5 Sources of Fluoride (It's Not Your Toothpaste or Drinking Water)

#4 Source of Fluoride: Non-organic Meat and Bone Broth, Canned Seafood and Processed Foods

Fluoride is stored in the bones of animals, so animal bones contain the highest amounts of fluoride.

Animals that are fed conventional (non-organic) feed are eating a lot of grains (mostly soy and corn) that are sprayed heavily with fluoride-based pesticides.

Mechanically deboned or mechanically separated meats like chicken nuggets and bologna and Slim Jims are made from a slurry of meat and other animal byproducts. Bones, skin and cartilage are included in the slurry when they process the meat. Those bones are very high in fluoride.


Non-organic meat that is sold and cooked on the bone is also higher in fluoride. This also includes bone broth and soups and stews if they are made from the bones of animals that were fed conventional feed.

In the book, The Hidden Cause of Acne, Melissa Gardner said one of the biggest acne breakouts she had was after she went to a Chinese restaurant and ordered wonton soup. It was in an area of the country that was not fluoridated, so she couldn't figure out why she reacted to the soup.

She called them and found out that they made the soup with broth made from simmering bones. The bones they were using were not organic and so they were high in fluoride.

Seafood is also high in fluoride, but most especially canned fish that includes the bones, like anchovies and sardines. But see, I don't worry as much about seafood because (1) it's high in iodine and (2) you're not likely to eat 16 ounces of seafood (but you can easily drink that much tea every day).

Also, any processed food is going to be higher in fluoride. The more processed the food is, the more fluoride it contains because the fluoride becomes more concentrated due to the processing. Cereal contains anywhere from 2-10 mg per kg of fluoride, which is extremely high.

How To Avoid Fluoride from Non-organic Meat and Bone Broth, Canned Seafood and Processed Foods

Limit the following foods:

  • Processed meats like chicken nuggets, hot dogs, and bologna unless they are organic.
  • Soups and bone broth unless it is made from the bones of animals that were raised organically.
  • Canned seafood that includes bones like sardines and anchovies.
  • Processed foods like cereal, chips and crackers, pastries, etc.

#5 Source of Fluoride: Water That You Cook With and In the Foods You Eat

Top 5 Sources of Fluoride (It's Not Your Toothpaste or Drinking Water)

When people think about fluoride, they think of the fluoride in their tap water or the bottled water they are drinking. But that pales in comparison to the fluoride you get from fluoride-based pesticides and tea.

That said, fluoride in the water that is used to make your food is still part of the mix of fluoride you consume every day. And it's not just an issue whether the water in your city is fluoridated.

This is because you are eating processed and prepared food made with fluoridated water. Everything from canned beans to bread to salsa to soup may (and most likely does) contain fluoridated water. It doesn't matter if it's organic either.

This is the main reason you need to cook from scratch as much as possible, using water that is filtered for fluoride.

Also, if you have well water, that doesn't mean you don't need to filter the fluoride out. You need to get your water tested for fluoride because many parts of the country have naturally occurring fluoride in the ground and naturally occurring fluoride has the same negative health impacts as added fluoride.

How To Avoid Fluoride from the Water You Drink and Cook With

  • Cook From Scratch As Much As Possible – Use dried beans instead of canned, make your own soups and salsa, etc.
  • Buy a Fluoride Filter (see below)

Water Filters That Remove Fluoride

Not all water filters remove fluoride. Brita or other pitcher-style filters, for example, will not remove fluoride.

You need a Reverse Osmosis Filter or a Berkey water filter to remove fluoride. While it is an investment, it pays for itself when you add up how much you spend buying spring water.

Here are the ones I recommend:

Reverse Osmosis Filter – A reverse osmosis filtration system like this one can be easily installed under your kitchen sink. This one is similar to the one I have and is available on Amazon for less than $200.

If you are not handy, you can hire a handyman to install this for you. Also, you can set it up so that your reverse osmosis filter goes to your fridge and ice maker so you have fluoride-free cold water and ice. (That's how it is in our kitchen.)

Berkey Filter – If you are not able to install a reverse osmosis filter under your sink (for example, if you are renting), I highly recommend the [easyazon_link identifier=”B002R8ON3I” locale=”US” tag=”cheeseslave0e-20″]Berkey gravity filter[/easyazon_link]. When we lived in an apartment, I used a [easyazon_link identifier=”B002R8ON3I” locale=”US” tag=”cheeseslave0e-20″]Royal Berkey (good for a family of 2-4) like this one which you can get on Amazon for a little over $300. [/easyazon_link]

[easyazon_infoblock align=”none” identifier=”B002R8ON3I” locale=”US” tag=”cheeseslave0e-20″]

Other Sources of Fluoride

There are many other sources of fluoride, including pharmaceutical drugs including fluorinated anesthetics, Cipro, Niflumic acid, Flecainide, and Voriconazole ((Source), cigarettes, toothpaste and fluoride treatments, and soft drinks and beer.

However, as I said above, a soda contains 5-10 times less fluoride than iced tea or kombucha. So you're better off going with a Coke if you have to choose (yes, I really mean that). If you want to drink beer, I'd go with beer imported from Germany or Holland (the only countries that fluoridate their water in Europe are England, Ireland, Spain and Serbia).

Babies and Children and Fluoride

Children and babies are especially vulnerable to fluoride because their upper limit of fluoride is much lower than adults.

Baby formula is very high in fluoride. Formula-fed infants receive 50–100 times more fluoride than exclusively breast-fed infants. (Source)

Breast milk contains no fluoride. Milk from cows, sheep and goats also contains no fluoride. Is this nature's way of protecting babies from fluoride?

Also, in my mind, this is the main reason juice boxes are so bad for kids. It's not the sugar — it's the fluoride. If you're going to give kids juice boxes, it needs to be organic. Or just give them milk. And don't give them kombucha or tea or hot dogs or chicken nuggets.

Top 5 Sources of Fluoride (It's Not Your Toothpaste or Drinking Water)

Read My Other Blog Posts About Fluoride

The Top 10 Dangers of Fluoride
6 Best Fluoride Filters That Filter Fluoride from Your Water
Why I Bought a Berkey Water Filter
Fluoride in Kombucha? Why I Stopped Drinking Kombucha and Tea
Health Bloggers Still Push Kombucha Despite High Levels of Fluoride

Pin This Post: Top 5 Sources of Fluoride (It's Not Your Toothpaste)

Top 5 Sources of Fluoride (It's Not Your Toothpaste or Drinking Water)

Questions About Sources of Fluoride?

Please comment below with questions and ideas and input.

Photo credits: Iced Tea Juice Boxes January 17, 201011

Find Me Online

Ann Marie Michaels

I have 25 years of experience in digital and online media & marketing. I started my career in Silicon Valley and Los Angeles, working at some of the world’s top ad agencies. In 2007, after my first child was born, I started this little food blog which I grew to over 250K monthly unique website visitors and over 350K social media followers. For nearly 15 years, I've helped my audience of mostly moms and women 25-65 cook for their families and live a healthier lifestyle.

 The year after I started the blog, I founded a blog network in the health & wellness space called Village Green Network. I started the company on my coffee table and bootstrapped the business to over $1.3 million in annual revenue within 5 years. During that time, I helped a number of our bloggers become six figure earners. After being censored on almost every social media platform for telling the After being censored on almost every social media platform from Facebook and Instagram to Pinterest and Twitter, and being deplatformed on Google, I am now deployed as a digital soldier, writing almost exclusively about politics on my blog Because who can think about food when we are fighting the second revolutionary war and third world war? Don't worry, there will be more recipes one day. After the war is over.

26 thoughts on “Top 5 Sources of Fluoride (It’s Not Your Toothpaste)

  1. Apart from tea, your argument that the listed sources expose people to more fluoride than fluoridated drinking water is very unconvincing. The level of exposure is the fluoride concentration multiplied by the mass of whatever it is that is being consumed which has that fluoride concentration. You have only taken concentration into account. There are other problems with the article. Please try harder to get your facts straight. I am completely opposed to forced-fluoridation and the use of fluoride based pesticides, by the way.

    1. We don’t know how much fluoride any of these things contain. If you reread the article, we know from the 2010 Georgia Medical College study that tea probably has much higher levels of fluoride than we previously thought. We also know that the 2003 USDA Fluoride is using numbers prior to the use of cryolite and fluoride-based pesticides. We have no other studies about the Teflon — this could be Nothing is labeled and therefore, it’s impossible to know how much fluoride we are consuming.

      My point in writing this article is to show that water and toothpaste are not the main sources of fluoride. I believe I showed that effectively based on the evidence.

      “There are other problems with the article.”

      Like what?

      “Please try harder to get your facts straight. I am completely opposed to forced-fluoridation and the use of fluoride based pesticides, by the way.”

      Yes, based on your prior comments on my blog, I believe we are on the same side.

      That said, please do try to be helpful. I welcome constructive criticism. But leaving negative comments that are vague and not constructive is negative and it tears people down.

      1. You wrote “We don’t know how much fluoride any of these things contain” and “My point in writing this article is to show that water and toothpaste are not the main sources of fluoride”. You are contradicting yourself. If you can’t understand that I don’t know what to tell you.

        1. Dan, what I’m saying is we don’t know FOR SURE how much fluoride any of these things contain because of the issues with testing which I addressed in the article.

          That said, we do know for a fact that tea is much higher in fluoride than fluoridated water.

    2. “The level of exposure is the fluoride concentration multiplied by the mass of whatever it is that is being consumed which has that fluoride concentration.”

      Yes, in my next post I am writing about my fluoride spreadsheet, I cover this.

    3. “This is because you are eating processed and prepared food made with fluoridated water. Everything from canned beans to bread to salsa to soup may (and most likely does) contain fluoridated water. It doesn’t matter if it’s organic either”.

      Isnt that a contradiction cause earlier you said you could eat those fruits and vegetables as long as they are organic so whats the difference

  2. Thank you so much for another well-written article Ann-Marie. I do understand that you didn’t write the actual amount of flouride in each product (=concentration*mass) like Dan pointed out. But I think that she gave us the concentration in a general order. For example Ann-Marie says “you’re not likely to eat 16 ounces of seafood (but you can easily drink that much tea every day).” to illustrate she knows relatively the amounts of flouride that would be batched into an average portion.

    I think it’s incredibly easy to tear someone down who brazenly faces the public, while it’s incredibly hard to actually put your ideas out there. I really appreciate your bravery every time you write something Ann-Marie, because that’s exactly what you are every time you write a public post. I’ve been following you for quite a while and especially what has happened in the past year, I cannot stress enough how important you are, and how strong you are.

  3. People also get a great deal of fluoride when they shower in municipal water. Plus, fluoride and the bunch of other chemical toxins in water combine to form other toxic substances you hadn't planned on. Raisins, grapes, and wine contain high levels of fluoride from the pesticide called Cryolite, not to mention high levels of neonicotinoids a systemic pesticide. Better to eat organic and not just because of the fluoride.

  4. Could it be that the chemical age is causing brain disorders,hdad,alzeimers, gender disorders, same sex couples etc. The first fifteen years of a childs life cud be so vulnerable to the outcome of their health just because of these practices of producing food for human consumption. If the thyroid is so affected, how is a childs hormonal ability ment to lay out…not straight forward that's for sure…the bible says to drink clean water.Only man makes mistakes God can only warn us.

  5. Thank you for putting this info together! For me, the definitive answer to does my free range chicken and apple sausage AND the water while showering cause higher levels of fluoride?
    I can stop the choice of chicken. But if renting– how can I not shower?
    I have read fluoride is absorbed transdermally.
    I have berkey setup.

    1. Just want to add, ALUMINUM is very bad to mix with fluoride especially for your BRAIN.
      Volvic/fiji to drink for the aluminum (Prof. C Exley/UK) and fluoride filtered water to bath, drink and cook. Be aware of any mercury, too. Oooh, that's a REAL baddy!!

    1. Tyson: If the sausage is made from mechanically deboned chicken, then YES!! Mix with some nitrates/nitrites, possibly MSG, grilling or barbequing, can also create chemicals in the meat that may increase the risk of cancer. Something about curing the sausage…salt?

      But, yes. High fluoride in chicken sausage/nuggets/sticks/ etc

  6. Interesting. I try to avoid fluoride and other toxins (eat organic and quit drinking tea a long time ago) but I happen to be one of those people that's cavity prone even with obsessive oral hygiene care, so I have to use fluoride mouth rinse (i've tried not using it with the result being multiple root canals so i KNOW it works in my case). I've never heard of fluoride causing acne except from that one blogger. I don't think it's common. I think it's far more common for dairy and hormonal imbalance to cause acne (i know it does for me–also too much iodine can do it). Of course other things can cause hormonal imbalance and while i'm assuming fluoride could be one of them, there are many other things that are far more likely to. It also stands to reason that since fluoride is naturally occurring in some spring water that it's not dangerous for everybody. I don't think it's good to obsess about stuff like this because you can't control everything.

    1. From what Ive read, being Cavity prone is more likley due to a diet of whole or processed grains and legumes and sugars that leach calcium from bones and teeth than it is to a lack of fluoride.

  7. TPTB
    know what their doing !
    It's all part of "Agenda21"
    The silent war of population reduction down to what they consider a sustainable level which is just 500 million globally, fluoride is just one of many fronts this war is being waged on.
    If you have mercury fillings in your teeth it is strongly advised that you replace them with non metallic material as electrolysis occurs when water or a metal dork are placed in your mouth, this washes a micro thin film of mercury off the filling and into your body where it likes to settle in the brain tissue, I think the same could also apply for metal teeth brace's.
    Peace and Love people remain aware and alert of your immediate environment.

  8. Hey, love your site… would you be interested in reviewing our whole house water filter system? Or our well water system? We'd love your opinion and if you could share with your community. Can you visit our site or email me? Thanks We're also looking for guest posters if you could keep it related to water.

  9. Hi there!

    Not sure if my last comment posted so I’ll write this again.

    Another tricky one that not many discuss is grocery stores spraying your non organic AND organic produce with fluoridated water. That shady sprinkler system that sometimes goes off when you go to grab your produce is what nobody discusses. Non organic already contains fluoride but dousing organic produce with it is just a crime!

    Also restaurants and farmers markets who say their produce is organic but isn’t.. ask questions!

    What you do think Ann?

    Thank you!!

  10. I think what you are doing is very courageous. By putting controversial information into the mainstream makes people think. Once the idea you brought up, is in their heads, each person has to use their own past experiences in order to absorb the idea. It is within each persons own individual contexts that determines their response.
    There are people that just can’t rationalise new information and the human reaction is usually fear.

    In your article, you tried countering the fear response with alternative solutions. But fear, once out if its cage is nearly impossible to dissipate. It is best to react to fear with kindness and quietly walk away. Otherwise, the rising fear from frustration of trying to convince the other person that you are the one who is correct, will morph into anger and hate.

    These topics are best handled with scientific data from both sides.
    The maximum allowable Fluoride intake for child is .05 mg/day
    Water: if fluoridated to .07 mg/liter (present guideline)
    1 liter = 4.227 cups
    A child would consume max. recommended fluoride by consuming < 4cups of water.

    In an adult: aged 19-70, Max Fluoide is 3.0mg/day

    This added data would allow people to use the useful information you gathered to compute their own intake.
    With due respect.

  11. Please stop promoting eating murdered carcasses of innocent cows pigs chickens, this is disgusting and bloody beyond your imagination!
    These are sentient beings, not robots. Stop with this organic, free range crap, they are a living breathing being like . Your dog, do you call your dog organic or non organic. No other entity on earth throws innocent animals in a slaughterhouse, there are vegan burgers chickens, Turkey, cheese, milk, do you have to have their rotten corpses? ??

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Recent Posts