95% of all toothpaste on the market contains fluoride, so there’s obviously some major benefits associated with this mineral. In fact, many experts and dentists have attributed the decline in tooth decay in the past few decades to the addition of fluoride to toothpaste and water. So what exactly is dental fluoride?
What is fluoride?
Fluoride is a natural compound found in soil, water, and even food and is the 13th most abundant element in the earth’s crust. After much research, scientists have found fluoride to be very beneficial to the health of our teeth, so they began adding it to toothpaste and water supplies.
How does fluoride protect oral health?
Fluoride for teeth prevents cavities by strengthening enamel. When you eat sugary foods, the acids in your mouth weaken enamel, making it easier for tooth decay to develop. Fluoride stops this process so you can maintain good oral health.
Continue reading to learn why your dentist may recommend fluoride varnish during your next appointment. If you have any questions, call our dentist office. We’ll be more than happy to answer any of your questions.
- Protects Tooth Enamel
When your enamel is exposed to too much acid, it can start to break down, or de-mineralize. Fluoride varnish helps fight off these harmful acids and the bacteria that cause them, keeping your enamel strong and healthy. Since fluoride helps prevent your enamel from breaking down, you’re also much less likely to experience tooth sensitivities when you use fluoridated toothpaste.
- Re-mineralizes Teeth
If your teeth are already damaged and weak, fluoride treatment from your dentist can help get your teeth back to their original condition. When minerals like calcium and phosphorous are lost from your enamel as a result of an acid attack, fluoride helps rebuild your enamel by regaining those minerals. This process of re-mineralization is crucial for the strength and health of your teeth.
- Prevents Tooth Decay
Since dental fluoride strengthens your enamel, you’re much less likely to get cavities. Everyone has bacteria in their mouths, and when you eat sugar or starches, these bacteria produce acid, which can be harmful to your teeth.
If your teeth are constantly being exposed to acids without having the right materials to fight back, your teeth will start to decay. Luckily, fluoride can prevent cavities from occurring. When your enamel is strong and healthy from using fluoride, your teeth will be much more resistant to tooth decay.
If you’re experiencing sensitive teeth or are prone to cavities, it’s important to brush at least twice a day with fluoridated toothpaste. Those who eat a diet high in sugar and starches are especially susceptible to tooth decay and should make sure they’re using fluoride on their teeth as well. If you want to prevent cavities, ask your dentist about fluoride for teeth.
Dr. Ritzema DDS and his team are dedicated to helping you maintain good oral health by providing fluoride treatment and other preventive dentistry services. To schedule an appointment with our Grand Rapids dentist, call Complete Health Dentistry at (616) 458-7267.