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Sure, fluoride is said to fight tooth decay. Many kinds of toothpaste out on the market today contain it as a preventative anti-cavity measure, along with harmless ingredients like baking soda and inactive matters. But did you know that by using toothpaste that contains fluoride, you might be contributing to some serious future health problems in you or your children? And that fluoride may not actually be of any help against cavities? After reading this article, I think you’ll be prepared to purchase a safe and effective non-fluoride toothpaste.
This article is about the chemical ion F−. For the addition of fluoride ions to water supplies, see Water fluoridation.
Fluoride is the anion F−, the reduced form of fluorine. Both organic and inorganic compounds containing the element fluorine are sometimes called fluorides. Fluoride, like other halides, is a monovalent ion (−1 charge). Its compounds often have properties that are distinct relative to other halides. Structurally, and to some extent chemically, the fluoride ion resembles the hydroxide ion. Fluorine-containing compounds range from potent toxins such as sarin to life-saving pharmaceuticals such as efavirenz, and from inert materials such as calcium fluoride to the highly reactive sulfur tetrafluoride. The range of fluorine-containing compounds is considerable as fluorine is capable of forming compounds with all the elements except helium and neon.
Compounds containing fluoride anions and in many cases those containing covalent bonds to fluorine are called fluorides.