Functions of Fluoride: New Research Shows How Fluoride Works

Dec 22, 2013

We know fluoride is good — makes teeth stronger, helps in the prevention of cavities. But what about the compounds in fluoride makes these benefits possible? And how? New research offers some insight into the functions of fluoride.

It has long since been established that fluoride works by hardening and reinforcing teeth’s protective level of enamel. It helps protect against the erosion acid, produced by bacteria, can cause. However more recent research has shown that the layer fluoride reinforces is much thinner and offers less protection than originally thought. Accordingly scientists considered other ways fluoride could work.

They came upon an entirely new function. In trials fluoride proved to lessen the adhesion force of bacteria that stick to teeth and cause cavities and decay. Because fluoride makes it harder for these bacteria to stick on to teeth, it is easier to brush them away or rinse off with saliva. This acts to prevent bacteria buildup. Fluoride also acts to remineralize damaged enamel and restore it.

You should check with your local water provider about the fluoride levels in your water. Some places are lucky enough to have naturally adequate levels of fluoride in their water. If you live somewhere that doesn’t you should consider a fluoride supplement. Although you spit out a fluoride rinse, or toothpaste after brushing, enough of the helpful compounds in fluoride remain on your teeth and in you mouth to reap these benefits.

Call and make an appointment with Lifetime Smiles today to talk about ways you can incorporate fluoride into your dental routine.

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