Industry insights

Is It Safe To Drink Mains Water With Added Fluoride?

By Matt Stimpson |  Published

The fluoride level in mains drinking water has long since been a controversial topic. Though a natural mineral that’s found in every supply at differing levels, there’s been a long-running argument between the risks and benefits of artificially adding more. But news is filtering out that fluoride will begin to be added to drinking water across the UK in a new attempt to fight tooth decay.

Rising tooth decay in the UK

We’re all aware of fluoride being a common and essential ingredient of everyday toothpaste, so why do we need extra into our water supply? The fluoride mineral is found in low levels in many water supplies and is proven to give our teeth extra protection.

But the reality is, with a population in England of around 56m people, only just under 6m are able to drink mains water with fluoride. The suppliers currently adding fluoride to their water supply are largely across the midlands and the north of England where levels have been increased to around 1mg per litre of water.

But with huge regional areas not receiving enough, or any, fluoride in their water, tooth decay in children is on the rise. According to a recent article in The Guardian, this has led to becoming “the biggest cause of hospitalisation for children aged from five to nine, with 23.4% of five-year-olds in England experiencing damage to their teeth in the 2019 school year”.

And while additional fluoride in the water will reduce the issue, there are still some safety concerns that additional fluoride in its ionised form could be linked to a range of health issues, even leading to cancer. Thankfully, risk reviews have shown no supporting evidence for this.

The benefits of adding extra fluoride to the water

So, in an effort to combat the rise in tooth decay, fluoride levels in our drinking water are set to increase across the country, being added by local water authorities. With the full backing of the Chief Medical Officer, Professor Chris Witty, together with his peers from other UK nations, Public Health England estimate additional fluoride could reduce tooth decay by up to 28%.

With risk and benefit still finely balanced, Witty and his colleagues are confident that the “fluoridation of water can reduce this common problem… and it should be seen as a complementary strategy, not a substitute for other effective methods of increasing fluoride use.” They also confirmed that fluoride levels must be closely monitored by drinking water inspectors.

With no fluoride added to the mains water supplies across the South or South-East regions, the drinking water supplies rely on natural levels. But the proposed top-up of fluoride is a benefit welcomed by dentists all over the country and, with very little evidence to suggest otherwise, your mains water will still be 100% safe to drink.

Low fluoride and great taste with Thirsty Work

If you’re living and working anywhere across the South or South-East and are worried about the increase in added fluoride, our range of bottled water coolers use natural water from deep within our own Shropshire spring.

Alongside other good levels of mineral content, the natural fluoride is recorded at a low level of just 0.15mg per litre – enough to provide protection against tooth decay, but still giving you great tasting, fresh, natural water.

To find out more about our bottled water coolers and water fluoride levels, get a free quote, or start your free, no-obligation, 10-day trial, contact our customer service team to get started. Call us today on 01392 877 172 or email us at