Naturally-occurring fluoride is found only in compounds, and in fact it makes up approximately 0.065% of the 16-kilometre-thick top layer of Earth's crust. Fluorides can also be found in many types of igneous rock. The most significant fluoride mineral is calcium fluoride, but fluoride is also found in cryolite, apatite, topaz, mica and many other silicates as well as in small quantities in sediments, coals, corals, shellfish etc. Traces of fluoride compounds can also be found in many organisms. Tea, asparagus and fish all have a very high fluoride content. No natural fluoride can be included in toothpaste products, as no process has been developed for the extraction of natural fluoride. This is why lavera uses fluorides manufactured in its laboratories, which are very similar to the natural substance. The substance is a fine, white powder that is odourless and mild on the skin and mucous membranes.
Sodium fluoride is permitted in a maximum concentration of 0.30% (F-0.15%/1500ppm) in oral hygiene.
Sodium fluoride is useful in preventing tooth diseases (cavity prophylaxis). Sodium fluoride is integral to the dental enamel. It hardens the tooth and makes it more resistant to acids. These acids are produced by bacteria in the mouth and in particular on dental plaque. It is accepted that sodium fluoride hinders these bacteria and even impedes the production of acids. Topical application of sodium fluoride to the tooth’s outer surface promotes development of a calcium fluoride layer (CaF2), encouraging remineralisation of the tooth enamel. Fluoride can contribute to tooth protection in various ways: Fluoride promotes remineralisation. At the same time it helps calcium phosphate to be more quickly integrated into the tooth enamel. Benefit: This reduces opportunities for bacteria to take advantage of weak points in the enamel, and reduces risk of cavities. Fluoride is also stored in the tooth enamel, just like calcium phosphate. Benefit: When acids cause demineralisation to begin, fluoride is on the spot at once to speed up remineralisation. Fluoride, when applied to the teeth in toothpaste or other gels, forms a kind of protective coating around the teeth, a type of protective layer of calcium fluoride. Benefit: Any acids produced are immediately neutralised by this protective layer, the minerals in the tooth enamel stay put, and the enamel remains strong. Fluoride also infiltrates the bacteria and interrupts their metabolism. Benefit: Tooth-damaging acid production is inhibited.