Most of the body’s fluorine (F) is contained in bones and teeth. Fluoride (the ionic form of fluorine) is widely distributed in nature. The main source of fluoride is fluoridated drinking water.
Fluorine deficiency can lead to dental caries and possibly osteoporosis. Fluoridation of water that contains < 1 parts per million (the ideal) reduces the incidence of dental caries. If a child’s drinking water is not fluoridated, oral fluoride supplements can be prescribed.
(See also Overview of Mineral Deficiency and Toxicity.)