Our teeth face a constant onslaught of corrosive acid produced by bacteria in our mouths. If allowed, this acid makes cavities that expose the sensitive inner layers of teeth and can cause quite a bit of pain. Our first line of defense against decay is tooth enamel, the hardest substance in the human body. But strong as it is, enamel isn’t impervious. What can we do to strengthen it?
There are many things you can do to prevent tooth decay by cleaning off bacteria and plaque. But the best way to strengthen teeth is by using fluoride. Fluoride, together with the natural remineralization process led by your saliva, helps bolster enamel’s defenses. Fluoride is a mineral found naturally in almost all water as well as in rocks and soil. It combines with calcium and phosphate to form an ultra-hard compound that gives additional protection against decay.
While fluoride is found naturally in the environment, the amount we absorb typically is not enough to be beneficial. For this reason, it is crucial to use a fluoride toothpaste. You may also want to use a fluoride mouth rinse or other supplement. The best fluoride delivery system is water, though, and so many communities have decided to fluoridate their drinking water. While not without controversy, this has proven to be one of the greatest public health achievements of modern times. Populations with access to fluoride see significantly less tooth decay.
If you have any questions about fluoride or want to make an appointment with our dentist, please call Holly B. Sletten, DMD, FAGD in Parker, CO. Our dental office is ready to serve you.