A fluoride is a salt, so it needs another element attached to it. This is often sodium, so the equivalent of your table salt (which is sodium chloride), and if you look at the ingredients in some toothpastes and mouthwashes you will see sodium fluoride.Fluoride has been shown to prevent decay, either in the water supply at one part per million, or in higher concentrations in toothpastes and mouthwashes.Fluoride may sometimes be used in even higher concentrations for short periods and applied locally in a varnish form to arrest decay when it hasn’t gone too far into the tooth.One particular class of filling material, the glass-ionomer cements, does release a small amount of fluoride into the saliva and this has been linked with preventing caries in susceptible individuals such as the elderly with dry mouths.
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