What Color Is Fluoride in Water?

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It’s common to find fluoride in water supplies in the US because it’s often added to public water systems to help prevent tooth decay.

However, there is growing concern over the safety of fluoride, with some studies linking it to health problems such as skeletal and dental fluorosis, and lower IQ scores in children.

So, how can you detect fluoride in your water supply?

Read on to find out what color fluoride is in water among other things.

Key Takeaways

  • Fluoride in water is colorless
  • Fluoride in water is also odorless and tasteless
  • The only way to detect fluoride in water is to have it tested

What Color Is Fluoride in Water?

It is impossible to detect fluoride in water with the naked eye since it is colorless.

Fluoride in water is also odorless and tasteless.

Thus, the only sure way to know if your water contains fluoride and at what levels is to have it tested.

How to Detect Fluoride in Water

The most economical way to test water for fluoride is to use fluoride test strips, which can be found online or at many hardware stores.

To use the strips, dip one in a water sample for about 30 seconds. The strip will then change color to indicate the level of fluoride present. Compare the strip’s color to the chart provided to determine the fluoride levels in your water.

A more accurate way to test for fluoride is to hire the services of an EPA-certified laboratory. Typically, you will be given a sample bottle and instructions on how to collect a water sample. Once the laboratory receives your sample, they will test it for fluoride (and other impurities if you want) and send you a report with the results.

Measuring Fluoride Levels

The EPA has set the maximum contaminant level goal for fluoride in drinking water at 4 milligrams per liter (mg/L). According to research, this level of fluoride does not pose any significant health risk.

The goal ensures that water utilities will take steps to keep the level of fluoride in their water under 4.0 mg/L.

diy water test strips

Why Is There Fluoride in Our Tap Water?

In the US, fluoride is added to many public water systems. This practice began in the 1940s and was based on the belief that fluoride could help prevent tooth decay.

While it’s true that fluoride can help strengthen teeth and make them more resistant to cavities, there is growing concern over the safety of this practice, particularly regarding children.

Exposure to too much fluoride can lead to a condition known as fluorosis, which results in the mottling and discoloration of teeth. In severe cases, fluorosis can also lead to skeletal problems. There is also some evidence that fluoride may lower IQ scores in children, though more research is needed to confirm this link.

How Fluoride Prevents Tooth Decay

When fluoride is present in the mouth, it binds to the hydroxyapatite crystals that make up tooth enamel. This makes the crystals more resistant to acid attacks from plaque bacteria and sugary foods.

Fluoride also helps reverse early signs of tooth decay. When teeth start to decay, the enamel breaks down and forms tiny pits or cracks. Fluoride can help repair this damage by remineralizing the enamel and making it stronger.

Safety of Water Fluoridation

Public water systems are required to test for fluoride levels regularly and adjust the amount of fluoride added to their water accordingly. The ideal level of fluoride in water is 0.7 milligrams per liter, though levels can range from 0.5 to 1.2 milligrams per liter without posing a health risk.

It’s important to note that not all public water systems add fluoride to their water. Contact your local water utility to find out if your community fluoridates its water supply.

Fluoride in Nature

Fluoride can also enter your water through natural means. Some rocks contain high fluoride levels, such as fluorite, apatite, and granite. When water comes into contact with these materials, it can pick up fluoride ions, which can then be present in your drinking water.

Homeowners with private wells should have their water regularly tested for fluoride and other impurities and contaminants.

If you have any questions about the color of fluoride in water please don’t hesitate to leave a comment below!

About the Author Alexandra Uta

Alex is a content writer with an affinity for research and a methodical attention to detail. Since 2020, she has fully immersed herself into the home water treatment industry only to become an expert herself. Alex has been using water filters and similar products for years which has gained her lots of hands-on experience.
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