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Facts on Fluoride: How it Affects Dental Wellness

January 12, 2024

Filed under: Uncategorized — westlakehills @ 4:26 pm
Woman getting fluoride treatment

Fluoride is a powerhouse in the realm of dental care and can play a big role in fortifying your teeth. Its origins as a tooth protectant date back to the early 1900s. Dentist Frederick McKay discovered the mineral in Colorado’s drinking water and eventually helped to bring it to the masses. But what is it exactly, and how does it help your teeth? If you’re curious to know the answers, continue reading.

What Is Fluoride?

Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral renowned for its ability to strengthen tooth enamel, making it more resistant to decay. While the element was discovered in the 1500s, it wasn’t until the mid-1900s that it saw widespread use in dentistry.

How Does Fluoride Protect Teeth?

Fluoride works in several ways to protect teeth from decay:


When teeth are exposed to acids produced by bacterial plaque, they can lose minerals like calcium, leading to weakened enamel. Fluoride helps remineralize teeth by attracting minerals back into their structure, making them stronger and more resistant to acid attacks.

Inhibition of Acid Production

Fluoride can also slow the activity of bacteria in plaque, reducing its ability to produce acids that erode tooth enamel. By limiting acid production, fluoride can help prevent the formation of cavities!

Prevention of Early Decay

In children and adults alike, fluoride is important for preventing early stages of tooth decay, known as demineralization. Regular exposure to fluoride helps strengthen teeth, stopping cavities before they start. This is especially important in children as it helps their baby teeth stay healthy, so their adult teeth develop correctly.

Sources of Fluoride

Fluoride can be obtained from various sources, including:

Tap Water

Many public water systems are fluoridated, meaning they add fluoride to the water supply at a recommended level. Drinking fluoridated water is an effective way to strengthen teeth and prevent decay. So, try to drink a couple of unfiltered glasses of tap water per day to gain the benefits!

Dental Products

Fluoride is a common ingredient in toothpaste, mouthwash, and other dental products. Using fluoride toothpaste and mouthwash as part of your daily oral hygiene routine helps provide added protection against cavities.

Professional Treatments

Dentists may also offer fluoride treatments during dental checkups, particularly for individuals at higher risk of tooth decay. These treatments involve applying a concentrated fluoride solution to the teeth, providing an extra boost of protection.

Fluoride is a powerful tool in the fight against tooth decay and cavities. By understanding how it works to protect your teeth, you can ensure regular exposure each day. If you or any of your loved ones are struggling with cavities, your dentist can provide professional treatments. These can help safeguard their smiles so your whole family can enjoy better oral health for years to come.

About the Author

Looking to strengthen your teeth with a fluoride treatment? Dr. Rebecca Long can help! She earned her dental doctorate at the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Dentistry and has since then accrued over 600 hours of continuing education to expand her skills. Currently, she is training at the Dawson Academy, a world-renowned dental academy. If you want a highly skilled and knowledgeable dentist, come to Westlake Hills Dental Arts, and meet Dr. Long. Call (512) 328-0155 to schedule an appointment or visit the website to book online.

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