Defending Against Tooth Decay With Fluoride

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We all want to have strong, healthy teeth. But our teeth face a daily onslaught of bacteria that are doing their best to destroy them. Our teeth are protected by a hard layer of enamel, the hardest substance in the human body. And while this protection is certainly great, it is not impervious. Even the strongest defense can do with a little bolstering.

A great way to protect and strengthen enamel is by using fluoride. Fluoride is a naturally-occurring mineral that is found in rocks, soil, and almost all water sources on the planet. It helps to strengthen tooth enamel by reincorporating calcium and phosphate into the tooth. These minerals are part of what keeps enamel strong, and are lost during the processes of tooth decay. When fluoride helps them re-join the enamel, it is called remineralization.

During fluoride-assisted remineralization, an additional cavity fighting compound begins to form in the tooth, called fluoroapatite. This compound is actually even stronger and more resistant to decay than the materials that make up tooth enamel.

Over the years, fluoride has become more and more available to consumers, to great effect. One source is community water fluoridation, which, while not without controversy, is directly responsible for significant reductions in tooth decay in people of all ages. Fluoride is also available in many toothpastes and mouth rinses. All fluoride available to the public is carefully regulated.

Using fluoride helps bolster your defense against tooth decay. If you have any questions about appropriate fluoride use or would like to schedule an appointment at Kevin J. Reece, DDS, please call Dr. Kevin J. Reece today.