Adults Need Extra Fluoride Too ― Here’s Why
Fluoride is a very important mineral for our teeth, and it also happens to be fairly abundant in nature, occurring naturally in water and many different foods. Our teeth are already covered by a mineral layer known as the enamel, and this layer loses and gains minerals every day. The process of losing minerals is known as demineralization while the process of regaining the minerals is known as remineralization.
Demineralization and Remineralization
Minerals are lost when the enamel is attacked by acids, which are formed by the bacteria that live on the teeth. When these bacteria feed on the sugar that gets left on the teeth when we don’t clean them, they produce plaque, which contains acid.
The minerals will be gained by the enamel from the different foods we eat and the water we drink. These minerals include phosphate, calcium and fluoride. For our enamels to remain healthy, there has to be some balance between demineralization and remineralization. If there is too much demineralization without enough remineralization, then the enamel will slowly decay.
Fluoride, therefore, helps to prevent decay in our teeth by enabling them to fight off the corroding acids that accumulate on them. It can also reverse decay in its early stages. Fluoride is very important in the dental development of children under the age of 6 since it is important for the development of permanent teeth and gives them a fighting chance against acids that threaten to demineralize them.
That doesn’t mean that fluoride is useful only for children. Due to the continuous processes of demineralization and remineralization, fluoride is important in adults as well. You should do all you can to make sure your teeth are getting enough fluoride.
It’s important for infants to get fluoride, as well as children up to the age of 16. This is a critical period in the development of the teeth as this is when the primary and permanent teeth develop. Adults also have a lot to gain from fluoride. Fluoride is just as important for adults as it is in children when it comes to fighting decay.