What is fluoride used for?
Fluoride is a substance that strengthens tooth enamel. This helps to prevent dental cavities.
Fluoride is used as a medication to prevent tooth decay in people that have a low level of fluoride in their drinking water. Fluoride is also used to prevent tooth decay in people who undergo radiation of the head and/or neck, which may cause dryness of the mouth and an increased incidence of tooth decay.
Fluoride may also be used for other purposes not listed in this medication guide.
How should I take fluoride?
Use this medication exactly as directed on the label, or as prescribed by your doctor. Do not use it in larger amounts or for longer than recommended.
Take this medicine with a full glass of water.
Do not take fluoride with milk or other dairy products. Calcium can make it harder for your body to absorb fluoride.
Suck on the fluoride lozenge until it dissolves completely in your mouth. Do not chew the lozenge or swallow it whole.
The chewable forms of fluoride can be chewed, swallowed, dissolved in the mouth, added to drinking water or fruit juice, or added to water for use in infant formula or other food.
The fluoride drops can be taken by mouth undiluted, or mixed with fluid or food.
If you mix fluoride with food or water, drink or eat this mixture right away. Do not save it for later use.
It is important to take fluoride regularly to get the most benefit.
How do I store fluoride?
Fluoride is best stored at room temperature away from direct light and moisture. To prevent drug damage, you should not store fluoride in the bathroom or the freezer. There may be different brands of fluoride that may have different storage needs. It is important to always check the product package for instructions on storage, or ask your pharmacist. For safety, you should keep all medicines away from children and pets.
You should not flush fluoride down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. It is important to properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist for more details about how to safely discard your product.
Precautions & warnings
What should I know before using fluoride?
Before using this drug, tell your doctor if:
- You are pregnant or breastfeeding. This is because, while you are expecting or feeding a baby, you should only take medicines on the recommendation of a doctor.
- You are taking any other medicines. This includes any medicines you are taking which are available to buy without a prescription, such as herbal and complementary medicines.
- You have allergy with any of active or inactive ingredients of fluoride or other medications.
- You have any other illnesses, disorders, or medical conditions.
Is it safe during pregnancy or breastfeeding?
There are no adequate studies in women for determining risk when using fluoride during pregnancy or while breastfeeding. Please always consult with your doctor to weigh the potential benefits and risks before taking fluoride. Fluoride is pregnancy risk category N, according to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
FDA pregnancy risk category reference below:
- A=No risk
- B=No risk in some studies
- C=There may be some risk
- D=Positive evidence of risk
What side effects can occur from fluoride?
Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Call your doctor if you have any of the following side effects:
- Discolored teeth
- Weakened tooth enamel
- Any changes in the appearance of your teeth
Less serious side effects may include:
- Stomach upset
Not everyone experiences these side effects. There may be some side effects not listed above. If you have any concerns about a side-effect, please consult your doctor or pharmacist.
What drugs may interact with fluoride?
Fluoride may interact with other drugs that you are currently taking, which can change how your drug works or increase your risk for serious side effects. To avoid any potential drug interactions, you should keep a list of all the drugs you are using (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. For your safety, do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any drugs without your doctor’s approval.
Does food or alcohol interact with fluoride?
Fluoride may interact with food or alcohol by altering the way the drug works or increase the risk for serious side effects. Please discuss with your doctor or pharmacist any potential food or alcohol interactions before using this drug.
What health conditions may interact with fluoride?
Fluoride may interact with your health condition. This interaction may worsen your health condition or alter the way the drug works. It is important to always let your doctor and pharmacist know all the health conditions you currently have.
The information provided is not a substitute for any medical advice. You should ALWAYS consult with your doctor or pharmacist before using fluoride.
What is the dose of fluoride for an adult?
For treating weak bones (osteoporosis): 15 to 20 mg per day of elemental fluoride.
What is the dose of fluoride for a child?
To prevent tooth decay (dental caries): in the US, fluoride is added to city water to a concentration of 0.7 to 1.2 parts per million (ppm).
To prevent dental caries in areas where the fluoride level in drinking water is less than 0.3 ppm (such as in well water), children 6 months to 3 years should receive a fluoride supplement of 0.25 mg per day; children 3 to 6 years, 0.5 mg per day; and children 6 to 16 years, 1 mg per day.
For children living in areas where the fluoride level is 0.3 to 0.6 ppm, children 3 to 6 years should receive 0.25 mg per day, and children 6 to 16 years, 0.5 mg per day.
No supplement is needed in areas where the fluoride in drinking water exceeds 0.6 ppm.
How is fluoride available?
Fluoride is available in the following dosage forms and strengths:
- Sodium fluoride chewable tablet 1mg
- Sodium fluoride chewable tablet 0.5mg
What should I do in case of an emergency or overdose?
In case of an emergency or an overdose, call your local emergency services or go to your nearest emergency room.
What should I do if I miss a dose?
If you miss a dose of fluoride, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take your regular dose as scheduled. Do not take a double dose.
Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.
Review Date: August 24, 2017 | Last Modified: September 13, 2019
Fluoride. http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-1068-fluoride.aspx?activeingredientid=1068&activeingredientname=fluoride. Accessed Mar 26, 2017
Sodium fluoride. https://www.drugs.com/fluoride-images.html. Accessed Mar 26, 2017