Fluoride is a mineral that is found naturally in rocks, soil, air, and water as a chemical ion of fluorine. It’s commonly used to strengthen the outer layer of your teeth (enamel) and prevent cavities. Over the years, many studies have recommended the use of fluoride in water supplies due to its role in preventing tooth decay.
How Does Fluoride Work?
Fluoride works through the demineralization and remineralization processes that naturally occur in the mouth. When you eat, your saliva produces acids that dissolve the calcium and phosphorous under the tooth’s surface, leaving you more vulnerable to decay and cavities.
Other times when your saliva is less acidic, it naturally replenishes the calcium and phosphorous to keep your teeth hard. When fluoride is present during the remineralization process, it combines with other minerals to create the most robust defense system for your teeth by strengthening your enamel and making the tooth more resistant to cavities.
Where is Fluoride Available?
Fluoride is found in foods, your local water supply, and in many over-the-counter (OTC) products, including mouth rinses, toothpaste, and supplements. Your dentist can also apply fluoride to the teeth as a gel, foam, or rinse in his/her dental office.
To routinely include fluoride in dental care, brush twice a day thoroughly with an ADA approved fluoridated toothpaste. Having regular dental checkup is imperative too, as your mouth will be professionally cleaned, and a concentrated fluoride treatment can be administered as well.
Keep your teeth healthy with a fluoride treatment at your next dental visit. We invite you to contact Carolina Smiles Dentistry at 919-620-6700 to schedule an appointment and learn more about how fluoride can help to protect your teeth.
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