Dear Dr. Ellie,
I have always wondered, what does fluoride do for the teeth? I know my densist gave me fluoride treatment as a kid, but never understood why. Can you help explain it for me?
Fluoride is a pretty powerful ally in the fight against tooth decay. It aids in the remineralization process, encouraging the minerals to heal the damage done to the teeth by the acids in the mouth. Also in this process of remineralization, the teeth actually become harder, and less prone to tooth decay.
Additionally, fluoride inhibits mouth bacterias ability to produce the dangerous acids that decay the teeth.
Fluoride is commonly found in tap water here in the States (although I have concerns about that) and in fluoride toothpastes and mouth rinses such as ACT. It is important to expose the teeth to fluoride a couple times a day (2-3), but be careful not to ingest too much of it, as this could cause serious problems.
I hope this answers your questions!
Dr. Ellie Phillips