Fluoride Action Network

Does Fluoride Need to Be Swallowed in Order to Prevent Tooth Decay?

January 8th, 2012

NO. Although fluoridation of water was initially approved on the premise that swallowing fluoride is the most effective way to strengthen teeth, most dental researchers now concede that fluoride’s primary benefit comes from direct topical contact with the teeth, not from ingestion. There is no need to swallow fluoride to prevent tooth decay, whether in water or tablet form.

It is hard to overstate the importance of this point to the fluoride debate, particularly when considering that fluoride’s risks come primarily from ingestion.