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What Does Fluoride Do For Teeth?

roslyn heights ny dentistLots of oral health products such as toothpaste and mouthwash contain fluoride. This helpful mineral is also frequently added to public water supplies because of its positive effects on oral health. Dr. Richard Sousa of East Hills Dental Associates is an experienced dentist who understands that the maintenance and care of your smile is a crucial part of your overall healthcare and well-being. Read on to learn more about how fluoride strengthens teeth and how you can benefit from its effects.

What Does Fluoride Do?

Fluoride has chemical properties that allow it to strengthen tooth enamel. The enamel is the hard outer layer of the tooth that protects the sensitive tissues inside, and cavities develop when enamel is weakened. Fluoride is often called “nature’s cavity fighter” because of its remarkable ability to strengthen teeth and restore weakened enamel.

How Does Fluoride Work?

Fluoride is a mineral found naturally in all water sources. Our bodies cannot produce fluoride on their own so we can only get it from outside sources such as drinking water or topical fluoride sources like toothpaste or mouthwash.

When the body absorbs fluoride, it is absorbed by the tooth enamel and attracts minerals to the tooth to reinforce it. This reverses early stages of tooth decay by helping the teeth replace calcium and phosphorus that make the enamel hard. Minerals present during this process, called remineralization, need fluoride present to allow the enamel to absorb them to keep it strong.

Why Kids May Need Fluoride Treatments

In children, fluoride works beneath the gum line before teeth have erupted to ensure they develop properly. As children are still learning good oral hygiene, their dentist may recommend a topical treatment such as an at-home gel or an in-office fluoride varnish to ensure they are maximizing fluoride’s benefits.

Keep Enamel Strong At All Ages

Adults need fluoride, too. Many public water supplies have fluoride added to them, and most toothpaste and mouthwash has added fluoride. Combining topical treatments with consuming fluoride keeps teeth strong and provides large scale dental care cost savings across communities.

Fluoride treatments are just one of the many ways you can keep your teeth healthy for the rest of your life. Don’t forget to maintain good oral hygiene and schedule routine appointments with Dr. Sousa or Dr. Adhoot at East Hills Dental Associates. Contact our Roslyn Heights, NY dental office online or by phone at (516) 253-6873 to schedule your appointment today.