Explore the science of fluoride in drinking water,
naturally occurring fluoride in water, and water fluoridation

Water. More than half of your body is made up of it. Most of the earth's surface is covered in it. It's vital to life. So what's up with fluoride in water? A lot!

View of the coast in Big Sur California
Above: Fluoride occurs naturally in ocean water at a concentration of 1.2 to 1.5 mg/L. Photo: Big Sur coastline in California, NOAA. Below: water & fluoride molecules.

Fluoride occurs naturally in water all over the earth, from freshwater to our oceans. Communities also often add a little bit of fluoride to water to prevent tooth decay and promote public health. At the same time, a lot of scientists work to make sure there isn't too much fluoride in drinking water. Too much could cause health problems like skeletal fluorosis and severe enamel fluorosis. But the U.S. has been really successful at preventing people's drinking water from having too much, so these conditions are exceedingly rare in America.

All that makes fluoride in water a perfect subject for examining all kinds of science related to water, health, and teeth. Public health, fluoridation, caries/cavities, freshwater conservation, biogeochemical cycles, environmental health, safe drinking water... those are just a few of the science topics we can explore about fluoride in water.

We don't have features on all those topics yet. But that's the goal!* And we have made some serious progress on that goal ... see for yourself in these features on fluoride in water:

icons of water and fluoride molecules

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Stay tuned for additional features in the future...

  • Chemistry of fluoride in water
  • Fluoride in the ocean
  • Drinking water treatment chemical safety in the U.S.
  • and more!