Why Fluoride Is Good for Your Teeth

Fluoride is found in your toothpaste and often in your tap water. Why is fluoride included in these important elements? Fluoride is a natural mineral that occurs in a variety of foods and water. Fluoride protects teeth by reversing early tooth decay and making teeth more resistant to plaque, bacteria, and sugars in the mouth. These are common causes of cavities. Sugars, bacteria, and plaque on the teeth emit enamel destroying acid.

Your teeth are considered to be one of the strongest parts of your body. Your teeth, however, are not bone. The hard, white, shiny outside of the teeth is composed of calcified tissue called dentin. Like bone, dentin needs minerals to be strong, healthy and prevent disease. Every day your teeth lose and gain minerals. Fluoride is one of the minerals (calcium and phosphate are the other two) that remineralizes (deposits additional minerals to the teeth.)

Your jaws and teeth are either made of bone (jaw) and calcified tissue (teeth). Both of these require minerals to build them up, and keep them strong and resilient to breaking, cracking and weakening. Tooth decay and cavities occur when more minerals are lost during demineralization than the addition of minerals to the teeth (remineralization). Naturally in many foods and water.

What is the remineralization and demineralization process? Essential minerals, including fluoride, are added to the teeth to strengthen them. Demineralization occurs when the teeth are exposed to harmful, enamel destroying acid, which also depletes the essential minerals of teeth. Fluoride, therefore, is essential to halting and preventing cavities from forming by adding more minerals to teeth as are being depleted by plaque and bacteria.

Some carlsbad dentist and patients are skeptical of fluoride, thinking that it is dangerous to your health. Fluoride is completely safe to use and plays an essential part in good dental hygiene. Fluoride is only dangerous when used in large quantities. Small children are more prone to the negative effects of fluorosis than adults. Fluorosis is the discoloration (usually white specks or brown streaks) of the teeth. This happens more in children because it is associated with teeth growth.

While you may think fluoride is found only in water, toothpaste, and mouthwash, you'd be surprised what other foods contain low levels of fluoride. Below is a sampling of where you likely inadvertently consume fluoride in a regular day: Foods, Fruits, Vegetables, Meat, Grains, Milk, Eggs, Dried fruit, Tea leaves, Cocoa powder, Walnuts, Dried beans. Know about la costa dental care here!