Fluoride is a natural mineral that can be found in soil, water (both salt and fresh) and in many foods. It occurs in the environment both naturally and as a result of human activities. Fluorides are commonly added to dental products and depending on your city, fluoride may also be added to drinking water to prevent cavities, this is called Water fluoridation
Fluoride is absorbed into structures, such as bones and teeth, this makes them stronger and more resistant to fractures and decay. A process in your body called "remineralization" uses fluoride to repair damage that has been caused by decay.
It is generally NOT safe to swallow toothpastes, rinses, or other products containing topical fluoride as it can be toxic in high concentrations (the fluoride concentration in drinking water is not high enough to cause toxic effects). For more information about fluoride and its health benefits contact the dentists at Summerlyn Dental Care in Bradford, Ontario