Does Fluoride Really Fight Cavities?

A new study has found that the protective shield fluoride forms on teeth is up to 100 times thinner than previously believed. This raises questions about how this renowned cavity-fighter really works.

It has long been believed that fluoride changes the main mineral in tooth enamel, hydroxyapatite, into a more-decay resistant material called fluorapatite. But the new research found that the fluorapatite layer formed in this way is only 6 nanometers thick -- meaning it would take almost 10,000 such layers to span the width of a human hair.

According to Science Daily:

“The scientists question whether a layer so thin, which is quickly worn away by ordinary chewing, really can shield teeth from decay”.

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