The Effectiveness Of Fluoride In Preventing Cavities 

22 / 05 / 2023

Maintaining good oral health is beneficial for your overall health. Good oral health is directly linked to better cardiovascular health, less risk of developing diabetes and osteoarthritis as well as a range of other outcomes. Fluoride is a fundamentally important part of oral health and plays a large role in preventing cavities which can damage teeth and cause other health complications. In this blog post we describe what fluoride is and what it does, discuss several recent studies on fluoride and cavity protection and explain how safe fluoride is, taking into consideration its associated risks. 

What is Fluoride and How Does it Work? 

Fluoride is an inorganic, monatomic anion of fluorine, whose salts are typically white or colorless. Fluoride salts typically have distinctive bitter tastes, and are odorless. Fluoride is commonly used in dentistry to strengthen enamel, which is the outer layer of your teeth. Fluoride also helps to prevent cavities. Fluoride works to rebuild (remineralize) weakened tooth enamel, slow down the loss of minerals from tooth enamel, reverse early signs of tooth decay and prevent the growth of harmful oral bacteria. 

The Latest Studies on Fluoride and Cavity Prevention 

The most-recent research into the effects of fluoride on cavity prevention show that it is crucial to enamel protection and the prevention of tooth decay. At the most basic level, fluoride strengthens the outer shell of teeth, destroys decaying cells in tooth tissues and kills harmful bacteris in the mouth. In Australia, prevention of tooth decay occurs at the individual level by fluoride use at home via application of toothpaste, with professional application at the dentist and at a community level through fluoridation of water. 

Fluoride Safety and Side Effects 

While fluoride has been shown to be completely harmless, there is still the conception that fluoride is marketed for malevolent purposes by dentists and members of the public health sector. Misconceptions like fluoride causes cancer, is mass medication and that fluoride damages your teeth have all been demonstrated as delusional. The only exception is in the case of fluorosis, where white lines appear on growing baby teeth resulting from the application of too much fluoride. Fluoride has been added to Australian water supplys since the 1970s. The 2017 NHMRC Review found consistent evidence that water fluoridation at current Australian levels is associated with decreased prevalence and severity of tooth decay in children and adults. 

Book an Appointment at Big Smiles Dental Today      

Treating issues related to tooth infection is absolutely essential for oral health. If you have any questions about root canal treatments or if you are due for a general check-up please don’t hesitate to book an appointment at Big Smiles Dental today.