Fluoride is a mineral that occurs naturally in all water sources, including the oceans. Research has shown that fluoride not only reduces cavities in children and adults, but it also helps repair the early stages of tooth decay, even before the decay is visible. Fluoride is the best cavity fighter to help keep the whole family's teeth strong — no matter their ages*.
*Fluoride should only be used by children ages 2 and up, or as directed by a dentist
After you eat, the small food particles left behind in your mouth break down into carbohydrates and sugars, which in turn the bacteria break down into cavity causing acids. These acids dissolve minerals from the tooth enamel, a process called demineralization. These acids, thus, can make teeth weaker, and can result in tooth decay. That's where fluoride comes in. When it reaches your teeth, fluoride is absorbed into the enamel. It helps to repair the enamel by replenishing the lost calcium and phosphorous to keep your teeth hard. This process is caused remineralization. When fluoride is present during remineralization, the minerals deposited into the tooth enamel help strengthen your teeth and prevent dissolution during the next demineralization phase. Thus, fluoride helps stop the decay process and prevent tooth decay.
You can get the benefits of fluoride from different places. It can work from an external source and from the inside of your body. To work the best, you need to get it from both. At home, you and your family should brush with fluoride toothpaste at least twice a day for two minutes, especially after eating breakfast and before bedtime.