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Benefits of fluoride

Fluoride therapy is commonly practiced and generally agreed upon as being useful in the modern dental field. Fluoride combats the formation of tooth decay primarily in three ways:

  • Fluoride promotes the remineralization of a tooth.

Fluoride has been found to enhance the tooth remineralization process. Fluoride found in saliva will adsorb onto the surface of a tooth where demineralization has occurred. The presence of this fluoride in turn attracts other minerals (such as calcium), thus resulting in the formation of new tooth mineral.

  • Fluoride can make a tooth more resistant to the formation of tooth decay.

The new tooth mineral that is created by the remineralization process in the presence of fluoride is actually a "harder" mineral compound than existed when the tooth initially formed. Teeth are generally composed of hydroxyapatite and carbonated hydroxyapatite. Fluorapatite is created during the remineralization process when fluoride is present and is more resistant to dissolution by acids (demineralization).

  • Fluoride can inhibit oral bacteria's ability to create acids.

Fluoride decreases the rate at which the bacteria that live in dental plaque can produce acid by disrupting the bacteria and its ability to metabolize sugars. The less sugar the bacteria can consume, the less acidic waste which will be produced and participate in the demineralization process.


There are many different types of fluoride therapies, which include at home therapies and professionally applied topical fluorides (PATF). At home therapies can be further divided into over-the-counter (OTC) and prescription strengths. The fluoride therapies whether OTC or PATF are categorized by application dentifrices, mouthrinses, gels/ foams, varnishes, dietary fluoridate supplements, and water fluoridation.

Fluoride, while beneficial to adults, is more important in children whose teeth are developing. As teeth are developing within their jaw bones, enamel is being laid down. Systemic ingestion of fluoride results in a greater component of fluoroapatite in the mineral structure of the enamel.
Anaheim pediatric dentistArticle on the benefits of fluoride

 

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Anaheim Medical Plaza
408 South Beach Blvd
Suite 201
Anaheim, CA 92804
(714) 229-8100

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