What is Fluoride?

Fluoride is the reduced form of the element fluorine. Flouride is a halide ion, which means it bears a negative charge.

Fluoride ions are found in several minerals, particularly flourite. Flouride salts are used extensively in industrial chemicals, especially to produce hydrogen fluoride for fluorocarbons. The fluoride ion is structurally similar to the hydroxide ion.

Some examples of compounds that contain flouride include:

  • Inert compound calcium fluoride
  • Reactive fluoride sulfur tetrafluoride
  • Medications such as efavirenz
  • Toxins or poisons such as Sarin
  • Inorganic fluorides such as hydrofluoric acid (HF), sodium fluoride (NaF), and uranium hexafluoride (UF6)
  • Commercially important fluorides such as fluorite and fluorapatite

Usually, these compounds contain covalent bonds that bind the fluorine and hence they are called fluorides. Fluorides are different from other halides such as chloride in terms of reactivity and can be more strongly solvated due to a small radius to charge ratio. While other silyl halides are easily hydrolyzed, the Si-F linkage is one of the stronger bonds that is not easily broken or hydrolyzed.

Trace amounts of fluoride occur naturally in drinking water and foods. While underground sources of water are richer in fluoride content, seawater contains, on average, around 1.3 parts per million (ppm). Fresh water supplies do not contain more than 0.01–0.3 ppm of fluoride. One of the main features of fluoride is its ability to maintain the health of teeth and it is therefore added to many brands of toothpaste and to drinking water in a process called fluoridation.

Further Reading

Last Updated: Feb 26, 2019

Dr. Ananya Mandal

Written by

Dr. Ananya Mandal

Dr. Ananya Mandal is a doctor by profession, lecturer by vocation and a medical writer by passion. She specialized in Clinical Pharmacology after her bachelor's (MBBS). For her, health communication is not just writing complicated reviews for professionals but making medical knowledge understandable and available to the general public as well.

Citations

Please use one of the following formats to cite this article in your essay, paper or report:

  • APA

    Mandal, Ananya. (2019, February 26). What is Fluoride?. News-Medical. Retrieved on October 18, 2019 from https://www.news-medical.net/health/What-is-Fluoride.aspx.

  • MLA

    Mandal, Ananya. "What is Fluoride?". News-Medical. 18 October 2019. <https://www.news-medical.net/health/What-is-Fluoride.aspx>.

  • Chicago

    Mandal, Ananya. "What is Fluoride?". News-Medical. https://www.news-medical.net/health/What-is-Fluoride.aspx. (accessed October 18, 2019).

  • Harvard

    Mandal, Ananya. 2019. What is Fluoride?. News-Medical, viewed 18 October 2019, https://www.news-medical.net/health/What-is-Fluoride.aspx.

Comments

The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News-Medical.Net.
Post a new comment
Post
You might also like... ×
Charcoal-based toothpaste comes with 'real risks'