Most of us are aware of the fact that Fluoride helps to reduce the risk of tooth decay. This is why fluoride is often added to water as well as toothpastes and mouth rinses. Many dental practices across the United States also offer professional Fluoride treatments as an important part of a preventive dental treatment plan. However, in the past, it has not been fully understood just exactly how Fluoride reduces the risk of tooth decay. New research recently published in the American Chemical Society (ACS) Journal, Langmuir, sheds some new light on this very old topic.
Earlier research has firmly established the fact that Fluoride helps to harden the enamel coating that serves to protect teeth from harmful, decay-causing bacteria. Newer research than this also showed that Fluoride penetrates into and hardens a much thinner layer of enamel than previously thought. The most recent research has shown that Fluoride also works by affecting the adhesion force of bacteria that stick to the teeth and produce the acid that can cause dental carries (cavities). The experiments revealed that Fluoride reduces the ability of harmful bacteria to stick to the teeth, thus making it easier to wash it away with saliva and brushing.
Now that you know that Fluoride can be very beneficial to your dental health, how can you get it? There are a variety of ways to get Fluoride into your system including in your diet or water, through topical applications such as toothpastes and mouth rinses, via professional applications (gels, foams or varnishes) applied in a dental office, and as supplements via prescription from a dentist. If you need Fluoride to protect the long-term health of your teeth, your dentist will be able to recommend the most appropriate method to fit your needs.
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