Medical experts have understood for years that fluoride supports the health of the teeth and the oral cavity in general. Ironically, fluoride comes from an element called fluoride, which is a greenish gas. Fluoride is almost never found by itself in nature because it is so reactive that a fluoride atom attacks nearly every atom that comes near it. Fluoride is even known to react with glass. But when it forms a compound with another element it becomes stable and often helpful. Here are three benefits of fluoride.
It Helps Prevent Tooth Decay
Tooth decay happens when the enamel of the tooth starts to deteriorate due to plaque, a sticky film full of bacteria. The bacteria feed on the food that lingers on the teeth, especially if it’s sugary. As it eats, it secretes acids that eat away at the tooth enamel, which leads to cavities. Fluorides bind with the enamel, which strengthens it. It does this because tooth enamel is made up of a molecule called hydroxylapatite, a molecule made of hydrogen, oxygen, calcium and phosphorus. The hydrogen and oxygen form a hydroxyl group. This group is responsible for preventing acid from destroying the enamel. Fluorides can replace this molecule and take over its job of protecting the enamel.
It Helps Remineralize Tooth Enamel
Tooth enamel is demineralized and remineralized all the time. This is why dentists recommend that people do not brush their teeth immediately water eating but wait about a half an hour while the tooth enamel remineralizes.
It Supports the Health of Baby Teeth
Some people believe that baby teeth aren’t really important, since they are supposed to fall out anyway. However, baby teeth are not only place holders for adult teeth, but they can affect the health of the child if they are not cared for properly and develop cavities. If the baby tooth is lost prematurely, it can cause the adult teeth to come in crowded or crooked. This is why fluorides are important to the health of baby teeth.
How to Get the Benefits of Fluoride
Fluoride is found throughout nature, even in water that has not been artificially fluoridated. It’s also found in foods such as shellfish, grapes, potatoes, tea and coffee. It can be had in other beverages made from fluoridated water.
Dentists recommend that people brush twice a day with a fluoridated toothpaste and rinse with a fluoridated mouthwash. Toddlers can also have their teeth gently brushed with a fluoridated toothpaste, but they’ll only need a bare jot of toothpaste on the brush. Children who are younger than six shouldn’t use mouthwash, however.
When people go to their dentist for their yearly or twice yearly checkup, the dentist can place a gel or foam right on their teeth. Children who are really fluoride deficient can take supplements. These need to be prescribed by the dentist.
Call Mountain View Dental for More Information
If you want to know more about the benefits of fluoride for you or your family, don’t hesitate to schedule an appointment with our dentists. Our number here is 385-324-3557.