Minerals are constantly flowing in and out of our teeth. When the scale tips too much one way and more minerals are leaving our teeth then going in….we get a cavity.
The main purpose of fluoride is to help remineralize our teeth to fight the battle against tooth decay. Fluoride quite literally rebuilds weakened tooth enamel. A cavity that has not broken through the enamel layer of the tooth can be strengthened to a healthy level with the aid of fluoride.
Before teeth break through the gums, the fluoride taken in from foods, beverages and dietary supplements makes tooth enamel (the hard surface of the tooth) stronger, making it easier to resist tooth decay. This provides what is called a “systemic” benefit.
After teeth erupt, fluoride helps rebuild (remineralize) weakened tooth enamel and reverses early signs of tooth decay. When you brush your teeth with fluoride toothpaste, or use other fluoride dental products, the fluoride is applied to the surface of the tooth. This provides what is called “topical” benefit.
In addition, the fluoride you take in from food and beverages continues to provide a topical benefit because it becomes part of your saliva, constantly bathing teeth with tiny amounts of fluoride that help rebuild weakened tooth enamel.