1826, "binary compound of fluorine with another element," from the same source as fluorine (q.v.). Fluoridation, in reference to adding traces of fluorine to drinking water as a public health policy, dates from 1949.
(flr'īd') A compound containing fluorine and another element or radical. Fluorine combines readily with nearly all the other elements, except the noble gases, to form fluorides. In some countries, fluoride is added to the drinking water as a preventive measure against tooth decay.
Any of a number of naturally occurring compounds of the element fluorine. Fluorides have been found to be effective in preventing tooth decay and are routinely added to drinking water in most jurisdictions.