Fluoride Detection Sensor Avoids Health Risks

Fluoride is an added ingredient in most community waters and an important protective force that fights against the eruption of cavities. In communities which do not have an adequate supply of fluoride in the water, dentists often prescribe prescription strength fluoride toothpaste to ensure that your teeth are properly protected.

Yet, the amount of fluoride that is acceptable for use is always important to determine when placing fluoride in water. This is because 1 part per million of fluoride ions is acceptable in drinking water, but more than 2 parts per million has been linked to bone, lung and bladder cancers, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

So, researchers at Florida State University discovered a sensor comprised of naphthalene diimide that can detect the level of fluoride in water. The way the sensor works is that when the sensor is placed in water, the sample will turn orange should a small amount of fluoride be present, but will turn pink if a large amount of fluoride is detected.  The researchers are pursuing a patent at this time.

From the scientific point of view, when the sensor is placed in water, an electron transfer occurs from a fluoride ion to the naphthalene diimide receptor, creating the shift in color that will signify the level of fluoride. The sensor can detect as little as one ten-thousandth of a milligram of fluoride in a liter of water. One of the added benefits is that the sensor can be reused repeatedly so no additional purchase is required to detect the level of fluoride in other samples.

If you are not currently using prescription strength fluoride toothpaste which can be purchased at your dentist’s office, contact your dentist to find out if you need this type of toothpaste. Using prescription strength fluoride toothpaste, when necessary, is one of the best ways to prevent tooth decay.

If you are interested in general dentistry or cosmetic dentistry, contact Dr. Mark Sweeney, an Austin Texas cosmetic dentist, for a consultation at 512-380-1300.