Fluoride is a mineral that occurs naturally in water and many foods. Each day, minerals become lost and added to your tooth’s enamel layer via processes known as demineralization and remineralization. An overabundance of demineralization without an adequate amount of remineralization can cause tooth decay.

Fluoride assists in preventing decay by making your teeth more resistant to attacks from acid from sugars and plaque bacteria inside the mouth. It can also reverse decay that is caught early. For children under six years old, fluoride will become integrated into the development of their permanent teeth. In addition, fluoride assists in speeding remineralization and disrupts the production of acid in already-erupted teeth of adults and children alike.

In addition to ingesting fluoride through foods and water, it can be directly applied to teeth via fluoridated mouth rinses and toothpaste. Our dentist at Dental Town also can apply fluoride directly to your teeth as a varnish or gel. Such treatments have a much higher fluoride level than what is available in over-the-counter mouth rinses and toothpaste. These treatments are fast and painless and can be completed during a regular checkup.

It is important for children to receive fluoride, but adults can also benefit. New studies indicate that topical fluoride is as essential in battling tooth decay as it is in strengthening already-developing teeth.