All About Minerals

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Why fluoride is good for you

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.


Important fluoride facts


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Groups at risk of fluoride deficiency

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:

  • People who don't drink much water, have less exposure to fluoride and may be at risk of deficiency


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Symptoms of fluoride deficiency

No information available.


Fluoride and health

People who wish to take an fluoride supplement should talk to a medical professional BEFORE taking it.



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Fluoride in food

FOOD AMOUNT fluoride (mcg)
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


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Fluoride recommended daily intake (RDI)

RDA lifestage age amount
  INFANTS 0-6mths
  CHILDREN 1-3yrs
  CHILDREN 9-13yrs
  ADULTS male: 19-50yrs
female: 19-50yrs
  SENIORS male: 51+yrs
female: 51+yrs
  PREGNANT all ages 3.0mg
  LACTATING all ages 3.0mg
TOLERABLE UPPER LIMIT lifestage age Amount
  INFANTS 0-6mths
  CHILDREN 1-3yrs
  CHILDREN 9-18yrs 10mg
  ADULTS 19-50yrs 10mg
  SENIORS 51+yrs
  PREGNANT all ages 10mg
  LACTATING all ages 10mg
Toxic Levels > 30mg

The tolerable upper limits should only be taken for short periods and only under medical supervision.


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Fluoride works best with

The following nutrients reduce toxicity of excessive fluoride intake:


Overdosage, toxicity and cautions for fluoride


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:

Severe cases of fluorosis causes:

Other signs of toxicity/overdosage of fluoride:


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Last reviewed: 1 January 2009 || Last updated: 1 January 2009




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NOTE: Mega doses of vitamins, minerals, amino acids, or other supplements cannot cure illnesses and in fact can be very dangerous and produce toxic side effects and interfere with medicine you are taking. Always ensure you consult your doctor before taking any type of nutrient supplement.
Disclaimer: This guide is not intended to be used for diagnostic or prescriptive purposes. For any treatment or diagnosis of illness, please see your doctor.