Fluoride - Information and Sources
Organic fluorine is a trace element required in very small amounts and is found in a number of foods; it forms calcium fluorapatite in tooth and bone and is involved in the mineralisation of bone and the prevention of dental caries.
Ionic fluoride is added to drinking water at 1mg/kg (1 ppm) and has drastically improved dental health. It is also added to toothpastes to help improve dental health.
Although there is no figure for the amount of fluorine which is required in the diet as there is no clinical deficiency, the effects on improved dental health demonstrate that some is needed. However, it's important that not too much fluoride is ingested, especially in children, as this can cause tooth mottling with crumbling enamel.
Main sources of fluorine come from fluoridated tap water, fluoride-fortified toothpastes and from the following food sources:
- Tea & green tea
- Kelp / seaweed
- Mussels and other shellfish
- Carbonated soft drinks