The forms of fluoride that provide health benefits are already widely available, and most people get fluoride from very common sources.
One of the most common sources of fluoride is water. In the early twentieth century, tooth decay was a major problem in various locations across the United States.
Despite a great deal of concern from unconvinced citizens, fluoride was put forward as a treatment for this tooth decay, and was added to public water supplies. The addition of fluoride treated tooth decay, and now the addition of fluoride to the water supply is largely regarded as one of the greatest public health achievements of the last century.
Another common source of fluoride is, of course, toothpaste. The fluoride found in toothpaste is believed to have a number of valuable dental health benefits including protection against root decay and tooth surface decay for adults, protection against general tooth decay for adolescents. Fluoride also helps to repair weak spots on teeth which could potentially develop in to cavities and painful toothaches.
Fluoride's health benefits extend beyond the human mouth as well. A study by U.S. researchers found that fluoride, like calcium supplements, is likely responsible for a reduction in the number of fractures of the hips and vertebrae in older women.
Dangers of fluoridation?
Because fluoride is so widely used, there is a great deal of scrutiny of what, if any, negative health impacts fluoride might have.
While there is a minority that believe fluoride to be harmful, there is no conclusive evidence that definitely links fluoridated water or toothpaste with ailments that are believed to be associated with fluoride, including Down's Syndrome, cancer, and osteoporosis.
While we would not ordinarily get enough fluoride in our diets, its addition to both public water supplies and tooth paste assures that the vast majority of people do not suffer from a lack of fluoride.
More information about fluoride around the Web:
Around the Web, find out more about its history, proper use, and recent research and controversies surrounding fluoride and its role as an additive to dental hygiene products and public water supplies ...
Fluoride History - Everything you always wanted to know including detailed accounts of its discovery, early preparations, its introduction to the water supply, fluoride toxity, along with a comprehensive list of related links and suggested reading.
Fluoride Action Network - A major clearinghouse of information on current controversies and possible dangers posed by fluoride with related news headlines, information on how to voice your concerns, with related studies and resources.