21 Jun 2017 Fluoride and Tooth Decay Prevention
From the time you were a child, you were told to brush your teeth twice a day. However, there is a lot more to protecting your teeth and fighting cavities than just that. You must also practice good oral hygiene overall, which means choosing the right toothpaste, flossing once per day to remove excess food particles between your teeth and eating the right foods. In terms of toothpaste, you should use one that includes fluoride to promote healthy teeth.
How Fluoridated Substances Work
Tooth decay prevention is relatively easy. Fluoride plays a huge part in the overall health of your teeth. It is found not only in most toothpaste brands but in your tap water as well. Statistics have shown that the introduction of the substance into drinking water has reduced the risk of tooth decay by around 50 percent. Using a good fluoridated toothpaste can lower your risk of developing cavities by 24 percent.
There is a process known as remineralization in the mouth that works to slow down the formation of cavities in the teeth. Essentially, it can be considered a form of tooth decay prevention. Fluoridated toothpaste or water can play a part in this process.
What Happens During Remineralization?
Research has shown that using fluoridated substances can improve the overall condition of your mouth and promote healthy teeth. Remineralization can be assisted when you use toothpaste or fluoridated water. Here is what occurs during the remineralization process:
- The ions in the mouth are absorbed onto the surface of the tooth where decay may have begun. When you use fluoridated toothpaste or water, mineral content that is lost as a result of tooth decay begins to be replaced. Specifically, calcium can be deposited as a result of the use of fluoridated toothpaste or water.
- After the fluoride comes into contact with the surface of the tooth, it can attract other minerals directly to the damaged part of the tooth. There is a two-fold benefit to this: it speeds up the remineralization process and increases the rate of how the process occurs, meaning there is a greater level of repair to the tooth.
New Tooth Mineral Created
In addition to the remineralization process helping to improve the quality of the teeth and fighting cavities, there is a whole new tooth mineral created as a result of using fluoridated substances as well. This mineral causes the teeth to become harder and more durable overall. The majority of mineral content on a tooth is made up of hydroxyapatite and carbonated hydroxyapatite. This makes up a new tooth mineral known as fluorapatite, which is harder than other tooth minerals and helps to fight off tooth decay. It can also withstand greater acidic environments before it begins to break down.
It’s important to note that fluoride helps to improve the quality of your teeth by making them stronger and thus, preventing cavities. Keep these things in mind when you shop for toothpaste and other oral hygiene products. If you have any questions about fluoride, be sure to ask your dentist is Holladay, UT.