What Is Fluoride?
Fluoride is found naturally in soil, water, and foods. It is also produced synthetically for use in drinking water, toothpaste, mouthwashes and various chemical products.
Water authorities add fluoride to the municipal water supply, because studies have shown that adding it in areas where fluoride levels in the water are low can reduce the prevalence of tooth decay in the local population.
Tooth decay is one of the most common health problems affecting children. Many people worldwide cannot afford the cost of regular dental checks, so adding fluoride can offer savings and benefits to those who need them.
Fluoride is an important mineral for all children. Our mouths contain bacteria that combine with sugars in the foods we eat and the beverages we drink to produce an acid that harms our teeth. Fluoride protects our teeth. But, too much fluoride can cause something called dental fluorosis.
Dental fluorosis is a slight change in the look of the teeth, usually in the form of very faint white markings. It normally does not affect the function of the teeth or cause pain.