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The Role of Fluoride in Preventing Tooth Decay

Posted on 1/15/2024 by Janice K. Pliszczak, DDS
Image of dental professional placing fluoride in a child's mouth. Fluoride is considered a natural defense against cavities and with good reason. This mineral plays a fundamental role in preventing any tooth decay by reinforcing the outer surface of the teeth, making them quite resistant to cavities.

How Fluoride Works

Cavities result from bacteria residing in our mouths that thrive on leftover food, especially sugary items and beverages. As these bacteria metabolize sugars, they release acids that target tooth enamel. Gradually, this process damages the protective outer layer of our teeth, paving the way for tooth decay. Fluoride plays a crucial role in combating cavities by aiding in the repair of the damage inflicted by these acids.

Effect of Fluoride on Development of Primary Teeth

When babies are born, the baby teeth (primary teeth) are present in their jaws. Even before these teeth emerge, fluoride from the food and beverages a child consumes plays a beneficial role. These early exposures to fluoride contribute to strengthening the enamel on baby teeth, enhancing their resistance to cavities, which is an effect known as a systemic benefit.

As the primary teeth start to appear, fluoride aids in repairing any damage caused by the acids released by cavity-causing bacteria in the mouth. This underscores the importance of children using fluoride toothpaste and consuming tap water that typically contains fluoride.

Whether through fluoride toothpaste use or receiving specialized fluoride treatment at the dental office, fluoride is applied directly to the surface of the teeth of the child, offering a topical benefit. Additionally, the fluoride obtained from foods and drinks becomes part of their saliva, enveloping their teeth in minute amounts of fluoride that contribute to maintaining strong and healthy enamel.

In safeguarding your teeth, consuming water with fluoride is a crucial measure. The ADA also advocates brushing with fluoride toothpaste. Ensure you contact us for more information about the benefits of fluoride. Our dentists are here to help you.
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Janice Pliszczak, DDS, 4827 Broad Road, Syracuse NY 13215, (315) 800-5020,, 7/21/2024, Related Terms: about us,dentist syracuse,janice pliszczak dds syracuse ny