Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral found in the earth’s crust, the air and all water sources including the ocean. The purpose of fluoride helps reduce cavities in children and adults, and it also helps repair the early stages of tooth decay. This big cavity fighter is your best defense to help keep your family’s teeth strong throughout everyone’s lifetime.
Where we get fluoride:
- topical fluoride treatments as in a gel, foam or varnish.
- fluoride supplements
- the water supply in certain cities
Fluoride accomplishes 3 things:
1. Helps build and maintain strong teeth
The big purpose of using fluoride is to help with demineralization of the teeth. Acids form plaque that results in tooth decay due to loss of minerals in the teeth. Topical fluoride that is applied frequently in low concentrations will increase the rate of growth and the size of enamel crystals. This accelerated growth of enamel crystals helps get the remineralization of back on track. Regular exposure to fluoride on a daily basis helps deposit minerals back onto tooth in areas where mineral content has been lost creating stronger teeth.
2. Helps prevent cavities
When we use fluoride, it is absorbed into the enamel creating a harder shell. Fluoride creates an environment that prevents a future acid attack on the teeth. Fluoride is extremely useful in preventing cavities and making teeth stronger. However, it is much less effective if a cavity has already formed making it very important to use fluoride as a preventive measure to help protect your teeth in the future.
3. It has antibacterial properties
When we regularly use fluoride, this helps reduce the bacteria build up in the mouth. Bacteria produce acid which is a major cause of tooth decay. Many studies have found that fluoride works by impacting the adhesion force of bacteria that stick to the teeth that produce cavity-causing acid. These studies revealed that fluoride reduces decay-causing bacteria to stick making it easier to wash away the bacteria by saliva, by brushing and flossing on a regular basis.
For daily toothpaste use, make sure your toothpaste contains fluoride. If you are not sure, consult your dentist on treatments, toothpaste, and mouthwashes that can benefit the whole family.