Our teeth are protected by a hard layer of enamel. In fact, tooth enamel is the hardest substance in the human body. Even so, it is susceptible to decay, which leads to cavities and other problems. And while enamel cannot be replaced once it wears away, it can be strengthened.
The best way to protect and strengthen enamel is by using fluoride. Fluoride is a naturally-occurring mineral that is found in rocks, soil, and water. It helps to strengthen tooth enamel by repatriating calcium and phosphate into the tooth. These minerals are part of what keeps enamel strong, and are lost during the processes of tooth decay.
In fact, when fluoride is present, it starts to form an additional cavity fighting compound in the tooth, called fluoroapatite. This compound is actually even stronger than the materials that make up tooth enamel.
Over the years, fluoride has become more and more available to consumers, to great effect. One source is community water fluoridation, which is responsible for significant reductions in tooth decay. Fluoride is also available in many toothpastes and mouth rinses.
At David A. Browne, DDS, PC, we include a concentrated fluoride treatment with every routine cleaning. This helps bolster the work your fluoridated toothpaste is doing every day. If you have any questions about appropriate fluoride use or would like to schedule an appointment, please call Dr. David A. Browne today.