At every dental checkup, your dentist will question if a fluoride treatment is needed. This is a common dental treatment performed to add strength to your tooths hard outer layer of enamel, by remineralizing it, and building up that much needed material.
The use of fluoride has become a normal part of our dental health, it is in our drinking water and in our toothpaste.
Fighting for Us
The American Dental Association refers to fluoride on their website as the superhero in your mouth. They share that there's a war inside your mouth, between your teeth and cavity causing bacteria, fluoride is the soldier that is helping our teeth wage that war. Fluoride has been scientifically studied to show a 25% reduction in cavities for our teeth.
Over 70 years ago, scientists began to notice and study the effects of people who drank water that had traces of fluoride and their dental health versus people who didn't. Since then, studies have continued to show the active correlation between the health of teeth and the continuous application of safe levels of fluoride.
How Does Fluoride Work?
The hard white layer of your teeth is called enamel. It is made of closely packed mineral crystals. These minerals are constantly cycling, both in loss and gain, losing minerals is called demineralization, gaining them is called remineralization.
Demineralization occurs from daily use, sugar, carbohydrates, and acids are constantly attacking our enamel. To strengthen our teeth, we remineralize them through our saliva, minerals such as fluoride, calcium and phosphate, deposit back into the enamel, recrystallizing our teeth and building up what was lost.
Fluoride can help your teeth in two ways.
When children have fluoride in small amounts (too much can be a problem also), fluoride will enter their bloodstream and become part of their developing permanent teeth, adding to their strength.
Fluoride will be present in your saliva, strengthening your teeth from the outside. This means that acids are less able to damage tooth enamel that has been strengthened by fluoride.