Fluoride is a natural mineral found in every natural water source. It is the ionic form fluorine which is commonly found in the environment. Fluorine enters water supplies in trace amounts from surrounding soil and rocks.
Fluoride has benefits for both adults and children. Before teeth erupt, ingested fluoride from food, drinks and supplements can make tooth enamel (the tooth's hard surface) stronger. This systemic benefit of fluoride makes your teeth a hardy barrier and more resistant to cavities. After teeth erupt, fluoride can help re-mineralize (or re-harden) weakened areas of tooth structure and reverse early signs of dental cavities. This topical benefit is often seen through the use of fluoride toothpastes which are brushed on the surfaces of your teeth.
According to the ADA (American Dental Association), water fluoridation is safe and healthy. Seventy years of research, thousands of studies, and the experience of over 200 million Americans has lent us vast knowledge about the benefits of fluoride. Water fluoridation is effective for preventing cavities and is safe for children and adults.
Read more about water fluoridation and fluoride from the ADA website here
Read the American Dental Association's Fluoridation Facts
Review Evidence-Based Clinical Practice Guidelines related to fluoride and fluoridation.
Visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Visit the American Academy of Pediatrics' Campaign for Dental Health website.