Eating foods that contain sufficient amounts of fluoride can help to prevent cavities and tooth decay. Foods that contain a rich source of fluoride include: tea and marine fish that are consumed with their bones such as sardines.
Fluoride, the ionic form of fluorine, is not considered an essential mineral element because humans do not require it or growth or to sustain life. The body contains small amounts of fluoride, and the daily requirement for maintaining dental health is only a few milligrams a day. Due to those two factors, fluoride is considered a trace element. A low concentration of fluoride is naturally found in drinking water and some foods, such as tea. Since the ocean contains natural sodium fluoride, most seafood contains fluoride.
Small amounts of fluoride help to reduce tooth decay and help to maintain bone structure. When dietary fluoride enters the bloodstream, it rapidly enters mineralized tissue (bones and developing teeth).
Fluoride deficiency increases the risk of tooth decay for individuals of all ages. When tooth decay is left untreated it can lead to severe pain, infection, tooth loss or extraction, nutritional problems, and more serious infections within the body. Studies suggest that increased fluoride intake, usually from water fluoridation, decreases tooth decay in children and adults.
In high concentrations, fluoride is toxic and can cause death. Fluorosis is a condition which is caused by excessive intake of fluorine compounds over an extended period of time. It can cause yellowing of teeth, hypothyroidism, and brittling of bones and teeth.
Some studies suggest that fluoride consumption (in supplement form) can increase the risk of Down’s Syndrome, bone fractures, and cancer.
Caution: Eating natural foods that contain fluoride is the safest and healthiest way to get an adequate supply of the nutrient. Due to risk of toxicity, individuals should always consult with a knowledgeable healthcare provider before starting doses of supplements. Before giving supplements to children, it is recommended that you first consult with their pediatrician. Also, some supplements may interfere with medications. If you are taking medication, it is recommended that you consult with your physician before taking any supplements. All supplements should be kept in childproof bottles and out of children’s reach.
Tea 100ml ~3.5 fluid ounces – (0.1-0.6 mg)
Canned sardines, with bones, 100 g ~3.5 ounces – (0.2-0.4 mg)
Grape juice 100 ml ~3.5 fluid ounces – (0.02-0.28 mg)
Fish, without bones, 100 g ~3.5 ounces – (0.01-0.17 mg)
Chicken 100g ~3.5 ounces – (0.06-0.10 mg)