A Answers (3)
Stacy Wiegman, PharmD, Pharmacy, answeredFluoride is a mineral that has helps to reduce tooth decay. Fluoride helps to prevent cavities and reverse the negative effects of tooth decay by strengthening tooth enamel. You can use fluoride topically or systemically. Topical fluoride are found in toothpastes, mouthwashes, gels, foams, and varnishes. Systemic fluoride is ingested through water and supplements and gradually strengthens teeth.
Fluoride promotes good oral hygiene by fighting tooth decay. Fluoride is a mineral that helps growing teeth to build strong enamel, which is the tooth's protective coating. Fluoride also helps to protect teeth from the damaging effects of acid produced by bacteria in the mouth. Brushing with a fluoride toothpaste at least twice a day is one of the most important steps toward maintaining a healthy mouth. You can also ask your dentist about using fluoride rinses or fluoride supplements.
American Dental Association answered
Fluoride helps prevent tooth decay. Studies show that community water fluoridation prevents at least 25 percent of tooth decay in children and adults. The average lifetime cost per person to fluoridate a water supply is less than the cost of one dental filling.
While teeth are forming under the gums, the fluoride taken in largely from drinking water and other beverages strengthens tooth enamel making it stronger and more resistant to cavities. This provides what is called a “systemic” benefit.
After teeth erupt, fluoride helps rebuild (remineralize) weakened tooth enamel and reverse early signs of tooth decay. When you brush your teeth with fluoride toothpaste, or use other fluoride dental products, you are providing a “topical” benefit because the fluoride is applied to the surface of your teeth.