Fluoride is one of the most widely-used minerals in dentistry due to its ability to fight back against cavities and strengthen the teeth. Most types of toothpaste use fluoride to help protect the teeth and it’s commonly found in mouthwashes and other dental products.
Most municipalities even add a little bit of fluoride to their water supplies, as it can help protect your teeth even in very small amounts. The team at Knight Pediatric Dentistry is always happy to discuss proper preventive care and help you understand how fluoride works and why it’s so beneficial for the oral health of you and your children.
Our teeth are made up mostly of an extremely hard substance called enamel, which is composed primarily of materials such as hydroxyapatite, a type of calcium-based mineral.
While our teeth are strong, they can be weakened. When you eat sugary or starchy foods, the remaining food particles that are left behind will be eaten by oral bacteria. As part of the process of digestion, these bacteria excrete acid. This acid attacks the enamel and weakens it by removing some of its mineral content in a process called “demineralization.”
This is why cavities occur. When the enamel becomes weak enough and decays, a hole forms. This hole will get larger and larger, and may even result in a tooth infection unless it’s treated with a filling.
This is where fluoride comes in. It has the unique ability to promote remineralization of the teeth and restore minerals like calcium and phosphate. This reverses the effects of demineralization, strengthening the teeth.
The ability of fluoride to help our teeth remineralize has a few different benefits.
Thanks to these three benefits, fluoride is considered to be one of the most important substances used in modern dentistry.
At Knight Pediatric Dentistry, we focus on preventive dental care with routine cleanings, fluoride treatments, and dental sealants. Whether you want to learn more about the benefits of fluoride or your child is overdue for their next cleaning, we’re here to help. Give us a call at (651) 409-9889 to schedule your appointment, or stop by our office in Woodbury at 9950 Valley Creek Road, Suite 150, Woodbury, MN 55125.