Tartar is plaque's evil cousin and as the old saying goes, "for every awful thing plaque can do, tartar can do better." Although plaque is almost wholly invisible; tartar camps out at the base of the teeth and stains them an unsightly yellow-brown.So what is tartar and why does it cause so much grief? And…
Fluoride: Dental Benefits and Sources
Why is fluoride good for your teeth?
Fluoride is needed to rebuild enamel. When combined with the calcium and phosphorous found in saliva, fluoride forms fluorapatite, a building block of tooth enamel. Fluorapatite makes the outer tooth harder, tougher and more resistant to tooth decay.
Whenever acid starts to eat away at the enamel, saliva bathes the teeth in a solution of fluoride, calcium and phosphorous. These minerals combine on the surface of the teeth to form a new layer of enamel to replace the one that has been eaten away.
How fluoride gets into the body
There are two ways in which a person can get fluoride to their teeth. The first way is by using topical fluoride, which is the kind found in toothpaste and mouthwash. This kind forms a protective film on the teeth, but it quickly gets used up and needs to be replaced regularly.
Fluoride also protects our teeth when it is ingested. Once it enters the body, fluoride finds its way to the mouth where it repairs the teeth and fights harmful bacteria. Having fluoride as part of the saliva is more efficient than getting it from toothpaste or a mouth rinse.
That is why it is important to have a diet that has fluoride in it. Below are good sources of the mineral:
1. Black tea has a fairly high concentration of fluoride in its leaves. When the tea is prepared with fluoridated tap water, the tea's fluoride level becomes even higher.
2. Seafood and saltwater fish are also rich in fluoride. This is due to the seawater they live in, which has a high concentration of sodium fluoride. The sea creatures absorb the sodium fluoride into their bodies, and a person who eats the seafood absorbs the sodium fluoride in turn.
3. Baked potatoes: Potatoes absorb fluoride salts from the soil, so eating a potato along with its skin will introduce fluorides into the body.
4. White wine: Like potatoes, grapes absorb fluoride salts from the soil. Drinking wine made from these grapes adds fluorides to the body.
5. Tap water: For the sake of their populations' teeth, most local authorities add fluoride to the water supply. So, try tap water instead of bottled water. It has more health benefits.
Is there such a thing as bad fluoride?
Yes, there is. If a child is exposed to excess amounts of fluoride, their teeth will develop lifelong stains that are brown or yellow in color. The teeth may also become pitted. Removing fluorosis stains is difficult and requires special teeth whitening treatment.
Good nutrition is medicinal
It is amazing how a healthy diet enhances our health. By eating right, we can prevent or manage illnesses and keep our bodies in excellent condition. By consuming a diet rich in fluoride, you can maintain a thick layer of enamel.
Contact one of our dentist to learn more about the benefits of fluoride and fighting tooth decay.
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