Fluoride is an extremely important mineral for the well being of our teeth and is naturally found in food and water.
What happens when we eat sugar?
Sugar spells nothing but damage for our teeth- a reason dentist advice us to refrain from eating excessive amounts of candies and chocolates. This is because when we consume them, the sugar reacts with the plaque bacteria and releases an acid that damages the protective layer of the teeth, which is also known as the enamel. This process of weakening the tooth is known as ‘demineralization’.
Why is fluoride important?
Fluoride is one of those essential elements that helps protect your teeth against such damage.
Every day, your tooth loses minerals and gets replenished again. Minerals like calcium, fluoride and phosphate are those essential elements that you get through the different kinds of food and water that you consume, that help your teeth fight demineralization by the process of remineralization.
So, in other words, all the minerals that your teeth lost out on, come back to them through this remineralization process.
Why is fluoride so important?
This mineral is crucial for the well being of your teeth as it makes them resistant to the acids that is produced when the plaque bacteria reacts with the left over sugar in your mouth. When children are under six years of age, fluoride gets deeply entrenched in the development and growth of permanent teeth so that they can withstand the process of demineralization that is also going on while they are sprouting their next phase of teeth.
Not only children, even adults benefit from having fluoride in their teeth as it protects their teeth as well. So fluoride is important for people of all ages.
How can you apply fluoride?
As mentioned earlier, food and water contains fluoride. You can also use fluoride based toothpaste that are easily available in every departmental store to give your teeth its dose of fluoride.
Using fluoride based mouth washes also helps. Generally, in medical stores, the mouth washes have a lower concentration of fluoride. You can ask your dentist to prescribe a mouth wash with a high fluoride concentration if you wish.
When you visit a dentist, he can apply fluoride on your teeth in the form of a gel, paste or foam. They generally contain a high level of fluoride than your normal day-to-day sources of the mineral. Your dentist can also prescribe you some fluoride supplements that are easily available in medical stores in the form of liquids or tablets.
Children between the age of 6 months and 16 years must have adequate exposure to fluoride. This is because during this age their permanent teeth come out and it needs to be strong as these teeth will last for the rest of their life. Moreover, even adults cannot compromise on their fluoride requirements as fluoride not only helps in preventing tooth decay, but helps in strengthening your gnashers as well.