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What Is the Purpose of Fluoride in Toothpaste?


Posted on 12/15/2023 by OM
Fluoride is a mineral found in water, rocks, and soil. However, it is also an ingredient in dental hygiene products, such as toothpaste and mouthwash. While fluoride offers many dental benefits, some prefer fluoride-free options because of sensitivities and allergies. Luckily, both options offer benefits, and deciding depends on your personal preferences. If you wonder about the purpose of fluoride in toothpaste, here are several advantages to help you make an informed decision.

Cavity Prevention


Fluoride has been used in oral care products since the 1950s to strengthen tooth enamel and prevent cavities. Cavities, or tooth decay, are small holes on the surface of teeth caused by bacteria or plaque buildup. Fluoride can fight off cavities and reverse cavity formation in the initial stages. When you use fluoride-based products, it hinders the ability of plaque to produce acid, which erodes the teeth with time.

Remineralization


Another benefit of fluoride in toothpaste is that it remineralizes the enamel. Tooth enamel contains several minerals, including calcium and phosphate. These minerals work together to strengthen the enamel, protecting your teeth from issues like breakage, cracks, and cavities. Sugars and foods containing starch stick on teeth, causing acid production and bacterial growth. Fluoride can remineralize the teeth, building a compound called fluorapatite, which introduces lost minerals to enhance resistance.

Whitening Power


When acid-causing bacteria and plaque damage the enamel, it causes discoloration. Yellow teeth are a common cause for concern, as plaque reveals the dentin under the enamel. The inner layer is not as strong as the enamel, which makes damaged teeth susceptible to demineralization and sensitivity. As mentioned, fluoride introduces lost minerals, restoring oral health and keeping teeth white.

Understanding the purpose of fluoride in toothpaste is essential for making informed choices about your oral hygiene routine. Fluoride plays a crucial role in cavity prevention by strengthening tooth enamel and ensuring a lustrous smile. Contact us today to learn more about oral hygiene products and their benefits.

Bryan Hill, DDS
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Dentist Spokane, WA • Dental Blog • Bryan Hill, DDS
At Bryan Hill, DDS we maintain a dental blog to help educate and inform our patients about topics that affect their oral health. Why not call us at: (509) 505-6303.
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