Have you ever heard about fluoride before? You may know this is one of the components that some toothpaste incorporate, but the importance of fluoride to your dental health goes beyond that what you may think.
What Fluoride is?
The fluoride is a natural mineral found in all water sources and throughout the earth’s crust. This mineral is widely distributed in nature and it actually consists on one of the most abundant elements found in all the earth’s crust.
The fluoride is naturally present in the soil, water, foods, and several minerals like fluorapatite and fluorite. But, this mineral can also be found in drinking water, mouthwashes, toothpaste and other chemical products, as it can be synthesized in laboratories and added to all of these products named before.
The Importance of Fluoride to Dental Health
The reason why this natural mineral is synthesized in laboratories and added to oral care products or drinking water is because it works like a cavity fighter and provides strength to the teeth.
The tooth enamel, which is the layer that covers your teeth and provides it with protection, gets worn down when in contact with the acids that are produced by the plaque bacteria and are found in saliva after consuming some type of food with high contents of sugar and acids. This process is called demineralization and leaves the teeth without a proper protection, making them more likely to develop tooth decay or even sensitivity.
When you consume fluoride in any of the possible ways and your teeth get in contact with this mineral, the tooth enamel absorbs its properties to repair the damages caused by the demineralization process. This repair stage is called remineralization process because of the minerals found in the fluoride and that are absorbed by the tooth enamel to help replenish the calcium and phosphorus lost as a consequence of the demineralization process.
The mineral absorbed by the fluoride that contributes to repair the tooth enamel also helps to prevent the damages that can be caused during a next demineralization process.
To maintain your teeth strong, healthy and free from cavities is very important to consume foods, beverages or supplements that contain fluoride. Another good way to give your teeth a good amount of this mineral is by using oral care products as toothpaste or mouthwashes with fluoride. When this mineral is constantly absorbed by your tooth enamel it becomes part of your saliva and continually bathes the teeth with little amounts of fluoride that help to prevent the apparition of cavities.
How to get Fluoride
Get fluoride for the care of your teeth is as simple as consuming the foods or beverages that contain this mineral or using toothpaste and mouthwashes with fluoride. If it’s necessary your dentist could also apply the fluoride directly to your teeth with a gel or recommend you to take a supplement of this mineral, but this case is most common in children from six months to sixteen years old that are at risk of developing cavities.