If you read the word “more” in our post title and have no idea what we’re referring to, check out our first fluoride facts post in this multi-part series! And now onto the next five facts…
Fluoridation is a Public Health Measure
It’s important to note that fluoride exists naturally in virtually all water supplies, so when it comes to public health, it’s a question of ensuring that people are receiving the right amount of fluoride to prevent tooth decay. For this reason, we must understand that public health decisions are determined based on both what benefits the greater community and on scientific evidence. Having the right amount of fluoride in community water supplies helps to reduce dental costs because our teeth are getting the natural protection that they need to remain strong and healthy.
Fluoride is Known as “Nature’s Cavity Fighter”
Fluoride is a naturally-occurring mineral that helps prevent cavities in children and adults by making the outer surface of our teeth, or tooth enamel, more resistant to the acid attacks that cause tooth decay. Before teeth break through our gums, the fluoride that we ingest from foods, beverages and dietary supplements functions to strengthen tooth enamel, which makes it easier to resist tooth decay.
Fluoride Helps to Rebuild Weakened Tooth Enamel
Fluoride helps rebuild, or remineralize, weakened tooth enamel and reverses early signs of tooth decay after teeth erupt. When we brush our teeth with fluoride toothpaste, or use other dental products that contain fluoride, the fluoride is worked into the surface of our teeth, which produces a “topical” benefit. Moreover, the fluoride that we consume from foods and beverages becomes a part of our saliva, which results in the consistent bathing of our teeth with the amount of fluoride needed to help rebuild weakened tooth enamel.
Fluoride Works to Prevent the Growth of Harmful Oral Bacteria
According to NCBI, “fluoride acts to enhance membrane permeabilities to protons and compromises the functioning of F-ATPases in exporting protons, thereby inducing cytoplasmic acidification and acid inhibition of glycolytic enzymes.” So what does this mean in layman’s terms? Essentially, the main message is that fluoride acts to reduce the acid tolerance of the bacteria, or helps to keep our teeth strong so that enamel isn’t weakened over time.
Have questions about the condition of your tooth enamel or fluoride in general? Contact us – we’re happy to answer any and all dental-related questions!