What is fluoride and why do we need it?
You have probably heard of fluoride toothpaste, but may have wondered exactly what it is and why we need fluoride. This answer can be somewhat complex, especially since fluoride exists in other items such as food and water.
It is essential to understand that fluoride is a natural product. It is a mineral found within the earth’s crust. Modern man discovered that it helps prevent cavities and tooth decay. This breakthrough prompted many developed countries to treat public water supplies with fluoride. It is a natural, harmless mineral embodying a number of benefits, including the way it integrates with teeth and bones to strengthen them. It helps harden enamel of teeth to protect them from cavities and preserve them.
Fluoride works by replenishing the body’s stores of calcium and phosphorous, helping to keep tooth enamel hard and strong. This is called remineralization of the teeth. Acidic saliva can cause demineralization, which dissolves the calcium and phosphorous needed for the longevity of your teeth.
By drinking water enhanced with fluoride and by using toothpaste that contains fluoride, you aid the remineralization process in order to strengthen the enamel of your teeth and keep from developing dental caries, or cavities. Professional fluoride treatments, done at the dentist’s office, are a great way to complement your body’s store of fluoride. You may also want to consider at-home treatment kits if you are looking for extra care and protection for your teeth.
If you still are not getting enough fluoride, other solutions are available. Supplemental tablets or drops can be taken, especially useful if you are not enjoying the benefits of fluoride in your water. Toothpastes and mouth rinses fortified with fluoride can keep your teeth healthy and strong.
Questions about fluoride? Contact Dr. Cruz today and schedule an appointment to talk about the benefits of fluoride. Find out just what it can do for you and your teeth!