Fluoride is a naturally occuring element that is used in dentistry to help prevent cavities.
Fluoride helps protect teeth from decay and cavities. Teeth with fluoride in the enamel simply resist acids better than teeth that have not been exposed to fluoride. When bacteria in the mouth combine with sugars, acid is produced that can dissolve tooth structure and cause cavities or erode away the enamel. Fluoride protects teeth from demineralization caused by the acid. It can also help with repairing enamel that has been mildly damaged by acids.
Studies have shown water fluoridation continues to be effective in reducing tooth decay by 20- 40%, even with widespread availability of fluoride from other sources, such as fluoride toothpaste and rinses.
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