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Definition of «Fluoride»

Fluoride: A compound of fluorine with another element or radical. Fluoride compounds are present in drinking water and some foods. Fluoride ions replace hydroxyl ions in hydroxyapatite in teeth, forming fluorapatite, which leads to fewer cavities. Fluoride compounds are therefore added to some toothpastes and dentists may also give a yearly fluoride treatment. It is generally recommended that fluorides be added to water supplies in which the natural level is less than 0.7 ppm in water to increase the concentration to 0.7-1.2 ppm. The addition of fluoride to water systems is one of the major achievements in public health in the 20th century. Fluoride, in combination with calcium and vitamin D, also increases bone mass and lowers the risk of backbone fractures associated with osteoporosis. The only accepted adverse effect of fluoridation is dental fluorosis. See also: Water fluoridation.

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