Mayo Clinic (Drug Information provided by: Micromedex)
Fluoride has been found to be helpful in reducing the number of cavities in the teeth. It is usually present naturally in drinking water. However, some areas of the country do not have a high enough level in the water to prevent cavities. To make up for this, extra fluoride may be added to the diet. Some children may require both dietary fluoride and topical fluoride treatments by the dentist. Use of a fluoride toothpaste or rinse may be helpful as well.
Taking extra oral fluoride does not replace good dental habits. These include eating a good diet, brushing and flossing the teeth often, and having regular dental checkups.
Fluoride may also be used for other conditions as determined by your doctor.
This medicine is available only with a prescription.
For good health, it is important that you eat a balanced and varied diet. Follow carefully any diet program your health care professional may recommend. For your specific dietary vitamin and/or mineral needs, ask your health care professional for a list of appropriate foods. If you think that you are not getting enough vitamins and/or minerals in your diet, you may choose to take a dietary supplement.
People get needed fluoride from fish, including the bones, tea, and drinking water that has fluoride added to it. Food that is cooked in water containing fluoride or in Teflon-coated pans also provides fluoride. However, foods cooked in aluminum pans provide less fluoride.
The daily amount of fluoride needed is defined in several different ways.
Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDAs) are the amount of vitamins and minerals needed to provide for adequate nutrition in most healthy persons. RDAs for a given nutrient may vary depending on a person’s age, sex, and physical condition (e.g., pregnancy).
Daily Values (DVs) are used on food and dietary supplement labels to indicate the percent of the recommended daily amount of each nutrient that a serving provides. DV replaces the previous designation of United States Recommended Daily Allowances (USRDAs).
Recommended Nutrient Intakes (RNIs) are used to determine the amounts of vitamins, minerals, and protein needed to provide adequate nutrition and lessen the risk of chronic disease.
There is no RDA or RNI for fluoride. Daily recommended intakes for fluoride are generally defined as follows:
Infants and children—
Birth to 3 years of age: 0.1 to 1.5 milligrams (mg).
4 to 6 years of age: 1 to 2.5 mg.
7 to 10 years of age: 1.5 to 2.5 mg.
Adolescents and adults—
1.5 to 4 mg.
The total amount of fluoride you get every day includes what you get from the foods and beverages that you eat and what you may take as a supplement.
This total amount should not be greater than the above recommendations, unless ordered by your health care professional. Taking too much fluoride can cause serious problems to the teeth and bones.