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Common Uses for Sodium Fluoride

Sodium fluoride, a chemical composed of both positively charged sodium ions as well as negatively charged fluoride (ions), is known. It is a white powder which dissolves easily in water. Fluoride and sodium are both essential minerals. The National Institutes of Medicine Food and Nutrition Board recommends that adults consume 3 mg of fluoride each day. Although it is poisonous if swallowed internally, sodium fluoride can be found in small amounts in toothpaste and water. Sodium fluoride is also used in a variety of industrial applications.


Fluoride is effective in preventing dental decay. This is a condition where bacteria damages the tooth structure. Fluoride is used in toothpaste and other dental hygiene products such as toothbrushes. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, sodium fluoride is the most commonly used form of fluoride in toothpaste and fluoride oral rinses. The average fluoride toothpaste sold in America contains between 1000 to 1500 parts per million sodium fluoride. Too much sodium fluoride can cause poisoning. You should only brush with a small amount and not swallow it. You may experience nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, and unconsciousness from sodium fluoride.

Water Treatment

Fluoride additives are added to public water treatment systems. This makes water one the most important dietary sources for fluoride. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, treatment systems can use any of three sources of fluoride. However, sodium fluoride remains the preferred source, particularly for small plants. The Environmental Protection Agency has established quality standards for all water additives to ensure safety. According to the CDC, too much sodium fluoride can cause discoloration in the teeth, particularly in children. The EPA limits fluoride to 4 mg/L to prevent this.

Industrial Uses

It is poisonous and is often used in pesticides. According to the Fluoride Action Network, this product's sodium fluoride content ranges between 15 percent and 95 percent. Different types of glues and adhesives use sodium fluoride to preserve their products. The sodium fluoride is a preservative that prevents bacteria, fungi, and mold growth. Aluminum products and steel are also made with sodium fluoride. According to the Environment Agency, the addition of sodium fluoride (to the molten metal) increases deoxidation and produces a more uniform material. Glass frosting, stainless-steel pickling, and wood preservatives are all other industrial uses of sodium fluoride.