Fluoride has long been known to be an important element that helps make teeth stronger and healthier. It is a natural element used mostly in dental products because of its beneficial properties. However, not everyone knows how it works. To appreciate its role better, this article will help you understand what it is and how it protects your teeth.
What Is Fluoride?
Fluoride is a mineral, and it is one of the most commonly found elements on earth. It is present in water, soil, plants, rocks, and even in the air. You can find fluoride as part of products, such as toothpaste, mouth rinses, supplements, and more.
Besides those dental products, they are also used in medical imaging scans and pesticides. They are found in steel and aluminum products like Teflon and are also used as an element in some cleaning agents.
What Does Fluoride Do to Your Teeth: How It Works
Fluoride is prevalent in the dental field because of its many benefits, such as the following:
Strengthening the tooth’s enamel
When you eat cavity-causing food, it can encourage bacterial growth in your mouth. These bacteria in plaque can turn food starch into acid. That acid would eventually start to eat and ruin teeth. As the tooth’s outer covering, the enamel is always the first thing attacked. When your tooth’s enamel is completely eroded, it becomes more susceptible to cavities and decay.
Fortunately, fluoride is here to help your teeth. Fluoride works by catalyzing your tooth enamel to remineralize. It works with the calcium and phosphate present in your mouth to make a powerful defense for your teeth. This defense is called fluoroapatite, and it is so strong that it can make the teeth resistant to cavities and decay.
Delaying the loss of minerals happening in the tooth enamel
The loss of minerals in one’s teeth is called demineralization, which is the exact opposite of remineralization. The same mentioned process above helps prevent this from occurring. It is essential for maintaining the overall health of your teeth.
Preventing oral bacteria from occurring
Fluoride has antibacterial properties. It enables the teeth to inhibit the effect of the cariogenic bacteria because fluoride can increase cell acquisition of protons, leading to a reduction in the tolerance of bacteria to grow in such acidic environments.
Reversing signs of tooth decay
Remineralization ensures that any signs of tooth decay would not push through. The combined effect of fluoride, calcium, and phosphate can restore teeth after a tough battle with tooth decay.
The simple act of using products rich in fluoride can also help your teeth become stronger and well-protected, thanks to remineralization. Make sure that you get enough fluoride for your teeth’s daily needs. However, know that fluoride for teeth also has its pros and cons. If you want to know more about the right amount of fluoride best for your teeth, you should go and consult with your family dentist.
Dr. Thomas E. Cooke Family Dentistry is your emergency dentist in Raleigh, NC. We are ready to face and treat an assortment of urgent matters, especially for our patients. We offer an extensive range of dental services such as dental implants, tooth extraction, root canals, dentures, dental crowns, tooth fillings, and more. Expect our staff to be available any time, including weekends, to address your emergency concerns.