What is fluoride?
Fluoride is a natural mineral, and it is the 17th most prevalent mineral in the Earth's crust. It is found in abundance in soil and water, and in plants and animals in very small amounts.
Fluoride is added industrially to some dental care materials such as toothpaste, mouthwash and some medical preparations. In the United States and most European countries, fluoride is added to fresh drinking water due to the multiple benefits of this mineral.
What are the benefits of fluoride?
- Strengthening teeth: Fluoride binds to the enamel (the outer layer) and makes it more solid and less susceptible to bacterial attack
- Anti-bacterial: Fluoride is an anti-bacterial.
- Restoration of primary caries: The mineral fluoride can restore or rehabilitate the enamel layer in the early stages of caries. The fluoride resists bacteria and strengthens the enamel layer, thus it has repaired the tooth and removed cavities. It should be noted that fluoride cannot repair deep caries. Because it becomes difficult for fluoride to reach the source of the problem, it requires the treatment of caries with fillings by a specialized dentist.
- Sensitive teeth: If your teeth are sensitive, you should use an anti-allergic toothpaste because its main components are sodium chloride or potassium nitrate, which will protect the channels inside the teeth that connect to the nerves.
- Anti-tartar: One of the main components of anti-tartar toothpastes is sodium phosphate. It does not remove tartar, but rather prevents the formation of tartar on the borders of the gums. Excessive use of this type of toothpaste may cause tooth sensitivity in some people.
- Anti-bacterial: For antibacterial toothpastes, whose main ingredients are triclosan, which is an aid in fighting bacteria. These toothpastes remove the bacteria that cause gum disease, but they do not remove the tartar that has accumulated on the teeth.
- Sodium Bicarbonate - Baking Soda: Sodium bicarbonate is an abrasive material that may cause gum irritation when used for long periods. The only benefit of using these types of toothpastes lies in giving you a feeling of freshness inside your mouth, which creates an incentive for you to prolong the process of brushing your teeth.
- Teeth whitening: Whitening toothpastes contain abrasives that weaken teeth. And it may cause these pastes irritate the gums and sensitive teeth. In addition, it does not whiten the teeth as effectively as the teeth whitening materials that are found in the dentist's office or sold in pharmacies.
- Always make sure while brushing your teeth to use a toothbrush with soft bristles so that the gum tissue does not recede from the teeth. You also have to put a small amount of toothpaste the size of a pea unlike what we see in commercials. Also try to brush your teeth twice a day for at least two minutes. As you know, brushing your teeth does not replace you with flossing once a day.