Did you know that tooth enamel is the hardest and most mineralized substance in your body? It’s true! This unique substance covers the outer layer of each individual tooth in your smile, working hard to protect your teeth from becoming damaged or decayed. But even though your tooth enamel may seem like the Superman of your smile, it has its own kryptonite.
Proper brushing and flossing, and eating a tooth-friendly diet helps keep your tooth enamel strong. Take even one of those away, however, and your teeth can be in trouble. When it comes to tooth enamel, what you see is what you get. Your teeth erupt with a built-in layer of enamel, but if it becomes damaged in any way, your body does not make more to replace it. That makes it all the more important to protect what dental enamel you do have, and fluoride can help do that.
Fluoride is a natural substance found in our beautiful Earth, but it does more than just exist. In the 1930s, researchers decided to look at the difference between those who drank plain water and those who drank water with natural fluoride in it. Their results? Those who drank fluoridated water had anywhere up to two-thirds less cavities than those who didn’t! In short, this amazing, natural substance helps protect your teeth against tooth decay.
Okay, that’s cool and all, but how in the world does fluoride protect your teeth? Good question! When children drink fluoridated water, the fluoride gathers together in the underlying bone and teeth. This means that fluoride can help harden your already-hard tooth enamel before your teeth even erupt! If your child doesn’t drink fluoridated water before their teeth come in, though, that’s okay; our dentists can provide fluoride treatments to strengthen the enamel on teeth that have already emerged. Here’s how it works:
Your mouth naturally goes through two processes called demineralization and remineralization. Every time you eat, whether it’s a tasty snack or a hearty meal, the acid in your saliva starts the demineralization stage. Basically, this means that the calcium and phosphorus under your tooth’s surface begin to dissolve, which, if not addressed, can harm your teeth. When you’re in between meals, however, your saliva’s acid levels go down, which helps build up any lost calcium or phosphorus in remineralization.
When you combine these natural processes with a fluoride treatment from Dr. Martin Trockel or Dr. Sherry Church, the minerals in your enamel become stronger than they would be on their own. In the end, fluoride can prevent little nasties from munching on your teeth and stop demineralization in its tracks the next it comes around.
All in all, fluoride is just one way that you can boost your body’s natural enamel-building process, and, let’s be honest, who wouldn’t want that? While fluoride is mostly recommended for children, our dentists may also provide this treatment to adults if their teeth get cavities easily. . .and if they are extra nice to us. If you’re interested in getting a fluoride treatment in Bixby, Oklahoma, for your smile or your child’s smile, just give us a call at 918-366-3777. We’ve got your back.