Fluorine is the 13th most common element in the earth’s crust. It occurs naturally in water, soil, and rocks. Fluoride is a negatively charged ion of fluorine that combines with other ions, such as the sodium ion, to make some of the ingredients found in toothpaste. These fluoride compounds in dental care products strengthen your teeth and prevent cavities.
Poor dental hygiene habits can lead to teeth demineralization. As the name suggests, demineralization is when the mineral content decreases in your tooth enamel due to the acidic byproducts created by the bacteria in dental plaque as they break down food. Fluoride not only works to reduce demineralization but can also enhance the remineralization of your tooth enamel. Fluoride works by combining with calcium phosphate to form fluorapatite. This mineral is stronger and more resistant to decay and fights to protect your teeth. It also works to hinder bacterial activity necessary for the formation of tooth decay.
Because of the important role fluoride plays in dental health, it is commonly found in popular mouth rinses and toothpastes. After a cleaning, dentists can also apply topical fluoride to your teeth. These products and treatments help prevent cavities and are even able to reverse early tooth decay. Fluoride is also found in most community water systems. Studies show that this added fluoride prevents at least 25% of tooth decay in children and adults over the course of their lifetime. For over 70 years, the American Dental Association (ADA) has endorsed community water fluoridation.
As you can see, the importance of fluoride has long been studied, accepted, and promoted by dental healthcare professionals. If you have any questions about fluoride products or treatments, be sure to ask us at your next visit. Call Well Beyond Dental in Reno, NV at 775-786-3472 or fill out our contact form to schedule an appointment!