WE DENTISTS MAKE a pretty big deal about fluoride and
how good it is for your teeth. Truly, fluoride is the best cavity
fighter out there, helping our teeth stay healthy and strong! But how
exactly does fluoride do such an awesome job at keeping our mouths
Fluoride Prevents And Repairs Tooth Decay
Bacteria that are in plaque produce acids that seep into tooth enamel
and break it down. This process of breaking down enamel is what causes
cavities over time. Where plaque breaks down the tooth, fluoride builds it up!
Fluoride, a mineral that occurs naturally in many foods and water,
protects teeth from cavity-causing bacteria by making tooth enamel more
resistant to bacteria’s acid attacks.
Fluoride also helps repair tooth decay in its early
stages by building up the tooth in a process called remineralization.
This cavity-fighting mineral even reduces the ability of plaque bacteria
to produce acid in the first place!
Fluoride Is Available In A Variety Of Forms
Fluoride can be directly applied to the teeth through fluoridated toothpastes and mouth rinses. In fact, toothpaste with fluoride has been responsible for a significant drop in cavities since 1960.
Dental offices also offer fluoride application to teeth as a gel, foam
or varnish. Getting a fluoride treatment periodically is important
because it contains a higher concentration of fluoride.
Fluoride Intake Is Important At All Ages
Exposure to fluoride can be especially beneficial for infants and children. Between the ages of six months and 16 years, fluoride becomes incorporated into the developing permanent teeth, protecting them from cavity-causing bacteria.
However, adults and children alike need to get enough fluoride to
protect their teeth. Just as important as strengthening developing teeth
is fighting tooth decay, which fluoride will help you do even after
your permanent teeth have come in.
Increased exposure to fluoride can be beneficial for people with certain
health conditions. For example, if you have dry mouth, gum disease or a
history of frequent cavities, your dentist may recommend additional
fluoride treatments or supplements. Ask us if you could benefit from additional fluoride.
Tooth Decay Is Preventable
The take home message is this: fluoride helps prevent tooth decay. If
you have any questions about fluoride, call us or come in! We would love
to hear from you!
We love our patients and their smiles!
The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for
professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the
advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have
regarding medical conditions.
Image by Flickr user bradfordst219 used under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 license. Image cropped and modified from original.