How Fluoride Prevent Tooth Decay

Fluoride is elements present naturally in rocks, soil and water. Fluoride is actually a chemical ion of fluorine.  When fluorine, which is negatively charged, meets a positively-charged ion like sodium, make sodium fluoride which is strongest resistant against cavity.

When these fluoride compounds are in your mouth, they can actually make your teeth stronger and prevent cavities. They can even reverse early tooth decay.


How Fluoride Fight Cavities?

Tooth enamel is the outer covering of teeth. It’s stronger than bone and made from calcium and phosphate. Our saliva is also loaded with calcium and phosphate and bathes the teeth to keep them strong.

When we eat things like candy, chocolates or any sweet sticky food items, cavity-causing bacteria starts feasting on the carbohydrates in these foods. This produces acids that attack enamel. It causes calcium and phosphate to be stripped from the tooth enamel, leaving teeth more vulnerable to decay and cavities.

However, saliva disrupts the attack as it coats teeth and adds back calcium and phosphate to replace what had been stripped away.

Now, here the action of fluoride starts. When saliva has fluoride in it from sources like fluoride varnish, toothpaste or water, our teeth are able to take it in. Once in enamel, fluoride binds up with calcium and phosphate and forms the fluorapatite. This fluorapatitie is the most powerful defense system of teeth to prevent cavities. It’s much stronger, more resistant to decay and fights to protect teeth. It works to fortify the tooth and helps to protect against plaque and decay.

how fluoride works against dental cavities

Fluoride present in drinking water naturally as a result of the geological composition of soils and bedrock. Normally fluoride is added in public water supply if required level is less than 1 ppm. Water authorities add fluoride to the municipal water supply, because studies have shown that adding it in areas where fluoride levels in the water are low can reduce the prevalence of tooth decay in the local population.

Tooth decay is one of the most common health problems affecting children. Many people worldwide cannot afford the cost of regular dental checks, so adding fluoride can offer savings and benefits to those who need them.

The best way to protect tooth from decay with the help of fluoride is fluoride varnish, fluoride mouthwash and fluoride rich toothpaste in caries prone patients.

According to WHO guideline fluoride content in drinking water should be 1 ppm ( one part per million). Ingestion of excess fluoride, most commonly in drinking-water, can cause fluorosis which adversely affects the teeth and bones.

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