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Fluoride is a trace mineral, familiar to most people because of it's presence in toothpaste. Fluoride plays a significant role in maintaining teeth and bones, and helping prevent tooth decay. Fluoride is also believed to be important in the process of restoring lost minerals, and in the case of our bones, fluoride actually helps prevent mineral loss from occurring in the first place.

Food sources
The primary source of fluoride in our diets is tap water. Therefore any food prepared in tap water, or any food of drink comprised of tap water, such as tea or coffee, will usually contain fluoride. The mineral fluoride is also contained in most toothpaste and mouthwash products.

Daily requirement
There are currently no UK or European Commission set daily recommendations for the mineral fluoride. In the United States, there is no Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) but an adequate daily level of fluoride is 4mg for men and 3mg for women.

A deficiency in fluoride can have an adverse on your teeth. Studies have shown that as the level of fluoride in the body goes down, the likelihood of developing tooth decay goes up.

There is also evidence to suggest that a lack of fluoride leads to an increased risk of developing osteoporosis.

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