Fluoride

18/Description

About

Fluoride is a form of the chemical element fluorine. It is used as medicine.

Fluoride is added to public drinking water to prevent tooth decay. Children who do not drink fluorinated public water because their homes use water from a private well often take fluoride tablets to prevent tooth decay. Fluoride is added to toothpaste and mouthwashes so it can be applied directly to the teeth to prevent tooth decay.

Fluoride is also taken by mouth for treating weakened bones (osteoporosis) and for preventing bone loss in people with rheumatoid arthritis and Crohn's disease.

How it works

Fluoride protects teeth from the bacteria in plaque. It also promotes new bone formation. This is different than most medicines used for weak bones (osteoporosis), which fight osteoporosis by keeping bone from being broken down.

Effectiveness

Effective
Preventing tooth decay, when fluoride is added to drinking water or included in toothpastes, mouthwashes, and other dental products

Concerns

Unsafe

Higher doses are UNSAFE and can weaken bones and ligaments, and cause muscle weakness and nervous system problems. High doses of fluoride in children before their permanent teeth come through the gums can cause tooth discoloration.Toothpaste and fluoride rinses should not be swallowed routinely, particularly by children. It's a good idea to make sure that children under six years of age use only a pea-sized amount of fluoride-containing toothpaste, just in case they swallow some.

Fluoride is safe for most people in the amounts added to public water supplies and used in toothpastes and mouthwashes, and applied by dentists. Low doses (up to 20 mg per day of elemental fluoride) of supplemental fluoride taken by mouth appear to be safe for most people

18/Warnings

Warnings

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Fluoride seems to be safe duringpregnancyandbreast-feeding when taken in doses below the tolerable upper intake level (UL) of 10 mg per day of elemental fluoride and when applied directly to the teeth in toothpastes and mouthwashes. But higher doses areUNSAFEand can weaken bones and ligaments, and cause muscle weakness and nervous system problems.

Interactions

No information available.

The information provided on this page is for reference purposes and is not meant to be used as a medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always consult with a medical professional. The content on this page has been provided with thanks by RxList.com