Fluoride is naturally present in numerous foods and also in water. This element has the potential to strengthen the teeth. Hence, tooth decay and other tooth problems can be prevented with the use of fluoride.
Water contains fluoride to some extent. Some food items like eggs, fish, meat, tea, etc contain fluoride as well. As fluoride is good for the health of the teeth, it is intentionally added as an ingredient in toothpastes, rinses and other similar products. Fluoride tablets are now available for children.
The outer layer of the crown of the tooth is called enamel. It is the part of the tooth which is visible. The enamel is composed of different mineral crystals which are strongly packed. These minerals are lost and gained on a daily basis by the enamel. Demineralization is when the enamel looses minerals, whilst the gaining of new minerals is referred as re-mineralization. Naturally, the perfect balance should be maintained between these two processes.
The bacteria on a tooth produces a particular acid. The crystals of the teeth are dissolved by this acid. This causes demineralization. Re-mineralization, on the other hand, develops the tooth back again by depositing fluoride, calcium and phosphate in the enamel. If the demineralization process becomes higher than the re-mineralization process, which means that the crystals are lost more rapidly than are being replaced, then the result is tooth decay. Fluoride is extremely helpful for the health of teeth because it speeds up the process of re-mineralization. Moreover, fluoride also prevents bacteria from producing acids.
There are two ways in which fluoride can be added into your body:
- Fluoride is included in many food items and it can also be a component of the medications prescribed by dental hygienists. Hence, fluoride can be ingested in different ways, and eventually becomes a part of the teeth
- The other way is to use toothpaste which has fluoride, or have a fluoride treatment done by a dental hygienist. Use of water containing fluoride to wash the teeth can also absorb fluoride into the teeth.
If you want to save your teeth from tooth decay, then the use of fluoride is indispensible. Fluoride effectively strengthens teeth, prevents tooth decay and ensures a healthy oral cavity.