Tip of the Day
Fluoride: Not Just in Your Toothpaste
Fluoride provides health benefits throughout a person’s life, especially for bones and teeth. Fluoride helps harden tooth enamel and so helps protect your teeth from decay. It also may offer some protection from osteoporosis, or brittle bone disease, by helping to strengthen your bones.
Consuming too little fluoride may cause tooth enamel to weaken and put you at greater risk of cavities. Consuming excess amounts can cause fluorosis which is when the teeth become mottled, or marked with brown stains although teeth are healthy in every other way. An Adequate Intake (AI) for fluoride levels for children ages four to eight is 1 milligram daily, ages nine to 13 is 2 milligrams daily, for teens 3 milligrams daily and for adults the guideline is 4 milligrams for men and 3 for women. Fluoride is not widely available in food.
For more information on nutrition and oral health, consult a registered dietitian in your area and visit our Eat Right Nutrition Tips.
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Reviewed December 2012