What is fluorine?
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What Does fluorine Mean
The first thing we are going to do before getting fully into the meaning of the term fluoride is to know its etymological origin. In this case, we can establish that it is a neologism that derives from Latin, specifically from the word “fluor”, which can be translated as “flow” or “current”.
It is interesting to know that it was isolated for the first time in 1886 by the French chemist Henri Moissan, after trying to achieve it for more than seven decades without success and bringing with it numerous deaths among those who wanted to do so.
The fluorine is the chemical element symbol F , whose atomic number is nine . It is a highly reactive and toxic substance, with an intense smell and a greenish or yellowish color.
Belonging to the group of halogens , if it is at room temperature, fluorine is a gas . In its pure form, it is a highly dangerous element for humans, since it causes serious burns if it touches the skin. In nature, however, it always appears combined with other elements.
Typically, fluoride appears as fluoride in the crust of the Earth . A fluoride is a compound that has a fluoride ion combined with an element that is positively charged.
The concept of fluoride is usually associated with the fluoride that is added to the toothpaste in order to prevent the development of cavities . Typically, it is sodium fluoride ( NaF ): when a person uses a toothpaste or mouthwash that contains this fluoride, sodium fluoride contributes to the hardening of the enamel , making it more resistant (and, therefore, minimizing the risk of tooth decay).
In the same way, we have to emphasize that the fluoride present in toothpastes is also very useful to reduce the risks of decalcification and to deal with all kinds of bacteria.
After meals, the saliva contains acids that favor the demineralization of the teeth. But when saliva has a lower level of acidity, the opposite happens, since it replenishes phosphorus and calcium. If fluoride is included in this remineralization process, the minerals become harder and strengthen the teeth. Thus, as the demineralization phase that develops after eating is generated again, the teeth resist better.
In addition to all that is indicated, it is necessary to know that if you choose to resort to fluoride in order to avoid the appearance of cavities in the mouth, that can not only be used through toothpaste. Specifically, it can also be found for sale in water, through tablets and even drops.
No less interesting is that there are different foods that are considered to also provide the body with interesting amounts of fluoride. Specifically, among the most significant are oranges, chicken meat, cod, lettuce, vegetables, salmon, dairy products, gelatin, spinach or sardines.
It should be noted that fluoride can also be added to drinking water for the same purpose: the prevention of cavities. In any case, it must be borne in mind that excess fluoride is toxic .