Learning to Take Better Care of Your Family's Teeth

The Importance Fluoride Plays With Regards To Your Dental Health

It's no secret that fluoride is good for your teeth. However, most people don't fully understand what it is exactly that fluoride actually does. Therefore, many people don't do much to ensure they are getting enough fluoride. This article will educate you on how cavities develop and the role fluoride plays in helping to prevent them:

How cavities develop

Cavities are caused by acids left on the tooth attacking the enamel. Even when you take proper care of your teeth, acids can still be left behind. A common cause of cavities is acids accumulating from food remaining stuck in a hard-to-clean place in the teeth, such as in between them.

A cavity is essentially a hole in your tooth. A cavity usually starts out with a small hole in the enamel of your tooth and then it expands to include the next layer of your tooth. This next layer is softer than the enamel and this means the cavity can really spread once it gets to the softer layer. If the cavity isn't taken care of quickly, it can lead to the decaying of much of the tooth. At this point, removing the entire tooth and its root may be the only option.

How fluoride helps fight cavities

Fluoride helps to speed up the remineralization process.  Fluoride is absorbed into the layers of your teeth. The appearance of the fluoride will also summon other helpful minerals to the damaged areas where they will come together to help remineralize the damaged spots, slowing down the development of cavities and tooth decay.

The fluoride will also make the tooth stronger, helping to prevent future damage from occurring. It also helps combat cavities is by slowing down the production of acid by bacteria. It does this by hindering the metabolizing of sugars.

Good sources of fluoride

There are many ways you can easily increase the amount of fluoride your body takes in.

  • Drink tap water. Bottled water normally has the fluoride filtered out, where tap water doesn't.
  • Ask your dentist about fluoride supplements.
  • Use a fluoridated toothpaste
  • Use a fluoridated mouthwash
  • Eat foods that contain fluoride such as fruits, vegetables, canned foods and chicken.

Now that you have a better understanding of how fluoride helps to fight cavities, you will want to talk to your dentist about whether or not you should be increasing the amount of fluoride you have in your system. Contact a company like Hurst Family Dental to learn more.