Fluoride is a mineral
that occurs naturally in all water sources, including the oceans. Research has
shown that fluoride not only reduces cavities in children and adults, but it
also helps repair the early stages of tooth decay, even before the decay is
visible. Fluoride is the best cavity fighter to help keep the whole family’s
teeth strong — no matter their ages.
How Does FLUORIDE Strengthen Your Teeth?
When it reaches your
teeth, fluoride is absorbed into the enamel. It helps to repair the enamel by
replenishing the lost calcium and phosphorous to keep your teeth hard. This
process is caused remineralization. When fluoride is present during
remineralization, the minerals deposited into the tooth enamel help strengthen
your teeth and prevent dissolution during the next demineralization phase.
Thus, fluoride helps stop the decay process and prevent tooth decay.
When Is Fluoride Intake Most Critical?
It is certainly important for infants and children
between the ages of 6 months and 16 years to be exposed to fluoride. This is
the timeframe during which the primary and permanent teeth come in. However,
adults benefit from fluoride, too. New research indicates that topical fluoride
— from toothpastes, mouth rinses, and fluoride treatments — are as important
in fighting tooth decay as in strengthening developing teeth.