Fluoride is a natural mineral used in water fluoridation after 1940 and later in topical fluorides to help reduce the number of cavities in the population.
Dentists follow the ADA’s topical fluoride guidelines where a panel assessed the efficacy of various topical fluoride caries-preventive agents that included mouth rinses, varnishes, gels, foams, and pastes. These experts presented evidence-based clinical recommendations regarding the professional use of fluoride agents.
You’re probably asking, “Is fluoride necessary?” Fluoride has been the greatest thing to reduce cavity levels in the general public. In the 1930s it was noted that parts of the country that had naturally fluoridated water had had fewer cavities, so that prompted significant research in the medical community leading to current practices.
Fluoride is safe. The American Dental Association, American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, The United States Public Health Service, the National Institutes of Health and the World Health Organization recommend fluoride. You can visit the Evidence-Based Dentistry website at http://ebd.ada.org/en and read about the proven benefits and safety of fluoride.