How does Fluoride Concentration affect Tooth Decay?

Welcome to my TALON Talk about how fluoride concentration affects tooth decay.

12 thoughts on “How does Fluoride Concentration affect Tooth Decay?

  1. Awesome TALON Talk Mahtab! You did a great job at answering your question, providing adequate background information that made understanding the rest of the presentation easier, and you did a fantastic job at weighing the pros and cons of fluoride in toothpaste. I really liked your animations and visual aids as well.
    One suggestion I have is that I think it could’ve been a nice touch to include an average of how much fluoride companies in the industry use in their toothpaste.
    A question I have is: Do products like charcoal infused toothpaste lower the effectiveness of the fluoride in the toothpaste?

    1. Thank you for the feedback, Matthew. Very few charcoal-infused toothpastes contain fluoride, as they claim to be “natural” toothpaste. Since they do not contain fluoride, they do not aid in remineralization, leaving the teeth at risk for decay. Furthermore, charcoal deactivates fluoride, mitigating fluoride’s benefits, which means that even charcoal toothpaste that does contain fluoride is ineffective at aiding remineralization.

  2. Hello Mahtab. Your presentation was constructed very well and I really enjoyed it. I also thought that the animations you created were an especially nice touch, and the images were relevant and engaging. A question I have for you is: do mouthwashes aid remineralization more than toothpaste?

    1. Thank you for the feedback, Josh. Toothpaste is far more effective at cleaning the teeth, gums and tongue, and aiding remineralization than mouth rinses. Toothpaste should be the primary method used to clean teeth as it is more abrasive than mouth rinses and is usually applied with a toothbrush allowing it to effectively clean plaque and bacteria. Also, toothpaste aids remineralization more than mouth rinses since it has higher fluoride content. Mouth rinses can be used as a secondary cleaning method to reach area bristles cannot. However, it is not effective enough at removing plaque or introducing fluoride to replace toothpaste.

  3. Hi Mahtab,

    You provided a lot of new and interesting information in your presentation. Your slides were simple but effective. Your descriptions of the pros and cons of fluoride, and how it all works were very detailed. I’ve always wondered what those white patches on teeth were, and because of your presentation, now I know.
    Is there an optimal concentration of fluoride for dental health, or is there just a range in which it benefits but does not harm?

    1. Thank you for the feedback, Braeden. According to the World Health Organization, the recommended amount of fluoride intake per day is 0.05mg F/kg of body weight, but this varies depending on age. There is a range where fluoride’s benefits can be received without harming the body, and striking a balance is crucial to ensure the benefits can be received without the risk of long-term adverse health effects.

  4. Hi Mahtab, great job on your presentation. I thought your video was very clean and well put together. You included very engaging visuals and explanations and you organized your information in a way that made sense. I had no idea how vital fluoride is to tooth health. One question I have is: Since all other animals don’t rely on fluoride to keep their teeth healthy, what would we have to do to also achieve this affect?

    1. Thank you for the feedback, Hannah. The primary reasons animals do not need fluoride for healthy teeth are that they have different diets and shorter lifespans. Animal diets do not contain many acids or refined sugars that can break down enamel and help feed growing bacteria colonies on teeth. Many animals also frequently chew on bark, sticks, bones and grass to help clean their teeth, and they do not usually live long enough to develop serious dental issues. For humans to not need fluoride, we would need to drastically change our diets by reducing the amount of carbohydrate-rich foods we eat, such as bread, pasta and candy. By changing our diets, plaque will not grow as rapidly on our teeth, so using only a toothbrush would be enough to clean them sufficiently, removing the need for toothpaste entirely.

  5. Very well executed TALON Talk, Mahtab. I particularly enjoyed the animations used to demonstrate the effects of fluoride on teeth. You also did well to explain the importance of fluoride, as well as the risks. Critiquing the small stuff, I suggest using higher-quality images to make the presentation look even more polished. In your slide about fluoride and preventing tooth decay, you mentioned how fluoride forms a protective layer around the enamel in our teeth. I was just wondering how this layer works. Do the fluoride atoms join together and create this layer, or are they absorbed into the tooth?

    1. Thank you for the feedback, Noah. Fluoride protects the enamel from acids by being absorbed into the tooth and bonding to a compound found in the enamel. This process is very complex, but in short, the fluoride ions (F-) that have been absorbed by the tooth replace the hydroxyl groups (OH-) in the compound hydroxyapatite, creating fluorapatite. Fluorapatite is more resistant to acids, so higher levels of this compound in enamel can delay tooth decay.

  6. Hi Mahtab,

    Your presentation was “enlightening” in several ways – nearly all the information you included was new to me. Specifically, other than knowing that we should only use a “pea-sized” amount of toothpaste (as is written on toothpaste tubes), it had never occurred to me that fluoride could have so many negative effects! Your information was also presented in a straightforward and logical way (especially when describing fluoride’s benefits), and you spoke very clearly.

    One suggestion would be to include how different, specific concentrations of fluoride affect how much tooth decay there is. This leads to my question: Is there a threshold (i.e., the amount of fluoride we need daily) that must be reached to achieve the desired remineralization and decay prevention?


    1. Thank you for the feedback Edward. According to the World Health Organization the recommended amount of fluoride intake per day is 0.05mg F/kg of body weight. However, teeth must be brushed with fluoridated toothpastes daily to prevent decay, only brushing with fluoridated toothpastes occasionally will not help prevent tooth decay. As fluoride is absorbed by the body it is added to saliva along with calcium and phosphate. The saliva coats the teeth aiding to remineralization, but if the fluoride concentration in the salvia is too low, remineralization will not be efficient enough to reverse demineralization.

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