Fluoride is a natural element that can be found in many things, like the water we drink and the food we eat. Decades ago, scientists began to notice that children who lived in places where fluoride occurred naturally in the water, had fewer dental cavities.
Fluoride that is absorbed by your body is used by the cells that build your teeth to make stronger enamel. Topical fluoride – fluoride that is applied to the outside of the enamel – makes the crystals that form enamel more durable. Tooth enamel crystals that have fluoride are much more resistant to acid. They are less likely to breakdown and cause the tooth surface to become porous.
If your dentist recommends a fluoride treatment during your next dental visit, you’ll be receiving topical protection. The fluoride your dentist puts in your mouth will help make the crystals in your tooth enamel stronger. Always use a toothpaste with fluoride. Look for the Canadian Dental Association seal of approval on the toothpaste tube in your bathroom.
For an experiment on the protective power of Fluoride, check out the Healthy Teeth Dental Experiments Page!