Fluoride is a natural mineral found in the Earth's crust, in nature, and in human teeth. It is also a key ingredient of many toothpastes and oral rinses, and it’s often used in treatments offered by dentists. Fluoride has many oral health benefits—such as preventing decay—especially for children. Here are a few reasons why this mineral is crucial for teeth.
How Fluoride Helps Your Teeth
1. Tooth Decay
In many places, fluoride is added to the water supply. When children drink water, the fluoride becomes a part of the structure of their developing teeth. It fortifies their teeth and makes them less vulnerable to the damaging effects of the acids from sugars and carbohydrates. As a result, it lowers the risk of developing tooth decay, an issue that can lead to unexpected dentist appointments for cavities, infections in the root of a tooth, bad breath, and gum disease.
2. Tooth Enamel
Acids that eat away at a tooth cause a chemical process called demineralization. This process damages tooth enamel while remineralization helps replace the tightly-condensed mineral crystals on the outside of a tooth. Fluoride—when it’s applied to the outside of the teeth via an oral care product—speeds up the remineralization process; because of its chemical makeup, fluoride is able to directly replace the mineral content that has been lost.
When fluoride is swallowed as an additive to foods and beverages, it becomes a part of your body's saliva. As a result, your teeth are constantly rinsed with fluoride-rich saliva, preventing decay and safeguarding enamel. In addition to most tap water, fluoride can be found in higher concentrations in black tea, seedless raisins, grape juice, shrimp, and blue crab.
When you’re ready to schedule a fluoride treatment with a dentist, contact Smile-Savers Pediatric Dentistry in the Bronx, NY. They offer a full range of treatments for early dental care, and they also provide emergency dentistry services. Contact an experienced dentist today by calling (718) 708-6755, visiting them online, or messaging them on Facebook.