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Mineral Directory - Fluoride

[Do Not Use]DK Publishing logo[Do Not Use]DK Publishing 2/07/2014 DKBooks


Daily requirement
men: 4mg per day
women: 3mg per day

This micromineral is found at varying concentrations in drinking water—it is often added by public water suppliers—and in soil; fluoride (F) is also present in very small amounts in the body. About 99 percent of the fluoride in the body is in the teeth and bones; it helps increase tooth mineralization and bone density and reduce the risk of tooth decay. It also promotes enamel remineralization throughout life.

Fluoridation of public water supplies has been endorsed by more than 90 professional health organizations as the most effective dental public health measure in existence. However, about half of the people in North America still fails to receive the maximum benefits from community water fluoridation and the use of products that have had fluoride added to them.

Fluoride can be obtained from any food that is prepared in or with water that has been fluoridated. You can also obtain the mineral from fluoridated mouth rinses and toothpastes.

Fluoride deficiency

A deficiency of this mineral can lead to tooth decay. If you live in an area where fluoride is not added to the water supply, you would benefit from a fluoride supplement.

Water fluoridation

By definition, water fluoridation is the adjustment of fluoride in a water supply to an optimum concentration of 0.7–1.2 parts per million in order to prevent tooth decay in the people who use the supply. The value of fluoridation has been demonstrated beyond question. Schoolchildren living in an optimally fluoridated community were shown to be at much lower risk of tooth decay compared with those children who do not live in such an area.

There is evidence that fluoridation reduces tooth decay in children by 20–40 percent, and helps to prevent tooth decay and loss in adults. Water fluoridation is beneficial for those living in poor communities, who are at greater risk of tooth decay and have less access to dental care and alternative fluoride resources.

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