You’ve probably seen or heard the ‘F’ word tossed around a lot in the dental world – fluoride, that is. Whether recommended to you as a treatment by a Tempe Smiles dentist or labeled on the box of your toothbrush, fluoride certainly comes around a lot. We understand it has plenty of great benefits for our teeth, but how exactly does it work?
First, let’s consider what fluoride actually is: a mineral that occurs naturally in many foods and is found in many sources of water. Although we can’t see it, we’re losing important minerals from our teeth all the time. This gradual loss of minerals degrades the natural integrity of our enamel, the toughest part of our bodies. These minerals are destroyed by acids regularly released by plaque that coats our teeth.
Even the toughest of us need a helping hand now and again. We can restore the minerals in our enamel by taking in a healthy regimen of fluoride, calcium and phosphate – these essential ingredients trigger remineralization in the enamel layer and help ward off tooth decay.
Fluoride’s specific role in warding off tooth decay is helping to fortify our natural teeth, making it more resistant to acid attacks at the hands of food debris, plaque and other sugars in the mouth. In very early stages of tooth decay, fluoride helps reverse the process completely.
Fluoride is important to children as their developing teeth are especially susceptible to decay. Fluoride plays an even greater role in our matured teeth as it helps elongate their natural lifespan. It makes it particularly difficult for acids to demineralize teeth in the future, protecting us from cavities.
While fluoride is contained in many sources, one of the best ways to secure its benefits is to secure a fluoride treatment from your dentist. Schedule an appointment with Tempe Smiles and help protect your smile!