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Filters & Fluoride

Dear Doctor,
Could you tell me if there are any filters that add fluoride to tap water?

Filters and fluoride.

Dear Rosa,
The author of our bottled water article is not aware of any filters that add fluoride to tap water. However, there are filters that can remove fluoride from tap water — those that use reverse osmosis, for example. This process relies on a semi-permeable membrane that retains particles larger than water molecules. You can learn more about water filters by going to Why would someone want to remove fluoride from their drinking water? Well, too much in infants and young children can lead to a condition called “enamel fluorosis,” which can cause a mottled or streaked appearance of the permanent (adult) teeth when they grow in. This is of particular concern to parents who use powdered baby formula, which has to be mixed with water. Yet it's also important to remember that tooth decay is the most common chronic disease of childhood, and can cause far more serious health problems than enamel fluorosis. That's why approximately 72% of all public water systems add fluoride to the level recommended to prevent tooth decay. The best person to advise you on whether you or your children are getting the right amount of fluoride is your dentist.