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The Truth About Fluoride
Is Fluoride as Beneficial for Our Smiles as They Say?

When it comes to oral health maintenance, fluoride is one particularly special mineral! But how and why is it so beneficial for our smiles?

How fluoride protects your teeth

Fluoride helps to make the teeth more resistant to decay. But how, exactly? Well, when we have fluoride present in our saliva, the fluoride combines with a compound that naturally occurs in our teeth referred to as “hydroxyapatite”. When this happens, it forms a more decay-resistant compound known as “fluorapatite”, so the tooth becomes less susceptible to acid attacks that would ultimately lead to cavities. So when you regularly expose your teeth to fluoride, our downtown Toronto dentist assures that you’re doing a lot to protect your teeth!

Fluoride has the potential to remineralize tooth enamel that has lost minerals or structure through a process called demineralization, which occurs when acids attack the enamel. Our teeth are actually in a constant state of mineral loss and mineral repair – and when more loss occurs than repair, cavities form. In order for tooth decay to be reversed by fluoride, it needs to be in its most early stage… so in other words, it can’t be a cavity. The earliest stages of tooth decay usually show up as a chalky white lesion on the tooth.

How can I make sure my teeth are getting enough fluoride?

Most of the population benefits from fluoride being present in their community water source. When fluoride is consumed safely through drinking water, the fluoride enters the bloodstream, becoming part of the saliva, which works to help protect the teeth systemically. On the other hand, we can use products such as toothpastes and mouth rinses containing fluoride, or can receive a fluoride treatment periodically from the dentist as well. It’s especially important to use topical methods of fluoride exposure if your community drinking water is not fluoridated.

To learn more about your individual cavity risk and whether you’re getting enough (or too much) fluoride exposure, you can always consult with our friendly dentist! Book a visit with Bite Dental today!