We’re up to element number 9 in our International Year of the Periodic Table series: Fluorine. The most reactive element in the periodic table, fluorine finds uses in frying pans and toothpaste.

Appropriately, considering it’s Pancake Day, fluorine is used to make poly(tetrafluoroethene) (Teflon), which is itself used to make non-stick cookware. There’s more about Teflon here.

In another rather timely coincidence, tomorrow is National Dentist’s Day in the US. Fluoride compounds are used in toothpastes to prevent tooth decay. Fluoride is sometimes added to water supplies for the same reason.

Remember, you can keep track of all of the previous entries in this series on the site here, or on the Royal Society of Chemistry’s dedicated page.