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- Why fluoride is good for you
- Important fluoride facts
- Groups at risk of fluoride deficiency
- Symptoms of fluoride deficiency
- Fluoride and health
- Fluoride in foods
- Fluoride recommended daily intake (RDI)
- Fluoride works best with
- Overdosage, toxicity and cautions for fluoride
Fluoride is a trace mineral, yet has a very important role in ensuring teeth and bones are healthy and it is especially implicated in preventing tooth decay.
When teeth and bone are formed, calcium and phosphorus forms crystalline structures called hydroxyapatite. Fluoride then replaces a part of the hydroxyapatite crystal, creating fluorapatite, which makes the bones stronger and gives the teeth better resistance to decay.
Fluoride is involved in maintenance and regulation (activation and deactivation) of several important enzyme systems in the body.
- Foods cooked in fluoridated water will get more of this nutrient
- Not every water system in every country is fluoridated, check with the local council to know for sure
Very few people are at risk of fluoride deficiency as most water supplies are fluoridated, but the following may be the only groups who are at risk:
No information available.
- Tooth decay - many studies have shown that fluoride prevents dental caries (cavities) so now most water supplies have fluoride added. There is some conflicting evidence about the safety of water fluoridation, which has not be absolutely proved to be safe or effective, but most literature shows it to be safe in the doses administered. It is only when fluoride concentration in water supplies reaches 150 parts per million that it can cause toxic symptoms (normal fluoridated water contains 1 part per million)
People who wish to take an fluoride supplement should talk to a medical professional BEFORE taking it.
|Black tea made with tap water||1 cup||884.0|
|Raisins, seedless||1 cup (165g)||386.0|
|Blue crab, canned||1 can (125g)||262.0|
|Coffee made with tap water||1 cup||215.0|
|Tap water||1 cup||169.0|
|Cranberry juice||1 cup||168.0|
|Instant oats cooked with water||1 cup||168.0|
|Spinach, cooked||1 cup (180g)||68.0|
|Tuna, canned in oil||1 can (125g)||53.0|
|Potato chips, plain||1 packet (50g)||53.0|
|Cheddar cheese||1 cup (132g)||46.1|
|Kellogg's Raisin Bran cereal||1 bowl (30g)||39.7|
|Carrots, cooked no salt||1 cup (78g)||37.0|
|Red wine (table variety)||1 glass||30.6|
|General Mills Cheerios||1 bowl (30g)||20.3|
|Asparagus, cooked no salt||½ cup (90g)||19.7|
|Bread, Rye||1 slice||16.3|
|Bread, Wholewheat||1 slice||13.7|
|Bread, White||1 slice||12.3|
|TOLERABLE UPPER LIMIT||lifestage||age||Amount|
|Toxic Levels||> 30mg|
The tolerable upper limits should only be taken for short periods and only under medical supervision.
Overdosage of fluoride is called fluorosis affects the teeth by giving them a mottled appearance. Fluorosis only occurs during tooth development (in young children and teenagers) and cannot be reversed.
Mild cases of fluorosis causes:
- the teeth have white spots and some mottling in their appearance
Severe cases of fluorosis causes:
- the enamel becomes pitted and very badly stained.
Other signs of toxicity/overdosage of fluoride:
- abdominal pain
- pain or tingling in arms, face and legs
- Bratthall D, Hansel-Petersson G, Sundberg H. Reasons for the caries decline: what do the experts believe? European Journal of Oral Science. 1996 104:416-22
- Burt BA, et al. The effects of a break in water fluoridation on the development of dental caries and fluorosis. Journal of Dental Research, 2000. 79(2):761-9
- Neurath C. Tooth decay trends for 12 year olds in nonfluoridated and fluoridated countries. Fluoride 2005. 38:324-325
- Osiecki, H. The Nutrient Bible. Bio-Concepts Publishing QLD, 2002
- Whitney EN, Cataldo DB, Rolfes SR. Understanding Normal and Clinical Nutrition, 6th Edition. Wadsworth/Thomson Learning, 2002