Fluoride decreases the risk of cavities. Diabetics tend to have more dental cavities, a greater risk of gum disease, and other oral health complications, and therefore need to pay very close attention to their mouth. Using fluoride makes tooth enamel stronger, reducing demineralization and also helping healing through a process called remineralization. Enamel erodes from any meal or drink that is acidic, which softens the enamel. The acid created from the sugars in your diet by plaque leads to demineralization of the enamel, and eventually to cavities. If left untreated, demineralization can literally eat away the tooth, eventually causing tooth loss.
Small amounts of fluoride are present in about two-thirds of the community drinking water in the US. This has been a huge public health endeavor. Fluoride toothpaste has also dramatically reduced cavities. Fluoride mouthwashes are also helpful to prevent cavities by promoting remineralization. Although rare, too much fluoride can cause fluorosis where teeth become very discolored. This can be corrected by restorative procedures. It is best to brush twice daily with fluoride toothpaste and rinse with the recommended dose once daily for most fluoride mouthwashes.