Uses of Fluoride
Fluoride is used to prevent tooth decay. It is taken up by teeth and helps to strengthen teeth, resist acid, and block the cavity-forming action of bacteria. Fluoride usually is prescribed for children and adults whose homes have water that is not fluoridated (already has fluoride added).
This medication is sometimes prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
Side Effects of Fluoride
- staining of teeth
If you experience any of the following symptoms, call your doctor immediately:
- unusual increase in saliva
- salty or soapy taste
- stomach pain
- upset stomach
Warnings & Precautions
Before taking fluoride:
- tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to fluoride, tartrazine (a yellow dye in some processed foods and drugs), or any other drugs.
- tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications you are taking especially vitamins. Do not take calcium, magnesium, or iron supplements while taking fluoride without checking with your doctor.
- tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding. If you become pregnant while taking fluoride, call your doctor.
- tell your doctor if you are on a low-sodium or sodium-free diet.
Fluoride comes as a liquid, tablet, and chewable tablet to take by mouth. It usually is taken once daily. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take fluoride exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.
The fluoride liquid may be taken straight from the bottle or mixed with cereal, fruit juice, or other foods. Use a dropper or an oral syringe to measure out your dose. Tablets may be dissolved in the mouth, chewed, or added to drinking water or fruit juice. Tablets also may be added to water for use in infant formulas or other food.
Fluoride helps to strengthen teeth and prevent cavities; it is not a substitute for brushing or flossing.
Keep all appointments with your doctor. Do not let anyone else take your medication. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription.
It is important for you to keep a written list of all of the prescription and nonprescription (over-the-counter) medicines you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should bring this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to carry with you in case of emergencies.
All information has been provided courtesy of MedLinePlus from the National Library of Medicine and from the FDA.