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Is Fluoride Really Good for Your Smile?

If you’ve ever read the contents of your toothpaste tube, then you’re probably familiar with the mineral fluoride, which has been a staple of dental hygiene in America for decades. The secret to fluoride’s popularity lies in its interaction with your natural tooth structure and the defenses that your body employs to protect your teeth from decay. Today, we explore why your smile appreciates

a healthy dose of fluoride by examining how it strengthens your teeth’s resistance to decay.

How Teeth Protect Themselves

The enamel that surrounds and protects your teeth is the strongest substance that your body produces. It’s also the most highly mineralized, comprised almost entirely of minerals like calcium and phosphate. Enamel acts as a barrier between your teeth and the bacteria that cause infection and tooth decay. When certain oral bacteria metabolize sugar and other carbs, they convert them into acids that deplete your teeth of minerals and weaken their protective enamel (demineralization). By brushing or rinsing away this acid and the food debris that feeds it, you can grant your teeth enough time to replenish these minerals and strengthen their enamel (remineralization).

How Fluoride Strengthens Teeth

To facilitate this process, fluoride binds to your enamel’s surface, strengthening it faster and hardening it against future acid attacks. However, if the rate of acid erosion outpaces that of remineralization, your enamel will become compromised and will no longer suffice to prevent bacteria from infecting your tooth. To lessen the frequency of acid attacks, refrain from constant snacking throughout your day and rinse your mouth with water when brushing your teeth is impossible. Green tea is also a good source of fluoride, and also produces antimicrobial agents called catechins that help prevent the onset of gum disease.

Learn More About the Smile Benefits of Fluoride

When combined with a consistently good hygiene routine and a regular schedule of preventive dental care, fluoride can do much to help keep your smile healthy by preventing tooth decay and more. To schedule an appointment, call Creekside Family Dental Care in Columbia, TN, today at (931) 388–3384.

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