Fluoride is a natural mineral that helps strengthen tooth enamel, the outermost layer of teeth. It is added into various over-the-counter toothpastes and mouth rinses and functions in protecting against cavities.The naturally occuring mineral is also added into the nation's water supply in small amounts in a process called fluoridation. Fluoridation overall, helps to improve the nation's dental health, protecting the population from caries risks.
How does Fluoride prevent cavities?
The bacteria in our mouths produce acids that eat away the tooth enamel when it breaks down sugars and carbohydrates from the sweets and sodas we consume. These acids eat away the minerals on the enamel surface. This process is called demineralization and results in holes/cavities forming in teeth and teeth becoming more vulnerable to futher decay once the acid and bacteria penetrate deeper into the tooth's structure. Flouride prevents cavities by reversing the demineralization process. It repairs the damage caused from the bacteria and acids, ultimately remineralizing the tooth enamel.