Fluoride is often called nature’s cavity fighter and for good reason. Fluoride, a naturally-occurring mineral, helps prevent cavities in children and adults by making the outer surface of your teeth (enamel) more resistant to the acid attacks that cause tooth decay.
How Does Fluoride Protect Teeth?
Fluoride benefits both children and adults. Here's how:
- Before teeth break through the gums, the fluoride taken in from foods, beverages, and dietary supplements makes tooth enamel (the hard surface of the tooth) stronger, making it easier to resist tooth decay. This provides what is called a "systemic" benefit.
- After teeth erupt, fluoride helps rebuild (remineralize) weakened tooth enamel and reverses early signs of tooth decay. When you brush your teeth with fluoride toothpaste or use other fluoride dental products, the fluoride is applied to the surface of your teeth. This provides what is called a "topical" benefit.
Here at White Pine Dental, our Registered Dental Hygienists apply a concentrated fluoride varnish onto each tooth. Fluoride varnish provides extra protection against tooth decay when used in addition to brushing.
Fluoride varnish is a pale yellow gel that sets quickly when applied to children's teeth using a soft brush.The varnish sets quickly and has a pleasant taste and a fruity smell.
Now that you know the practical value of fluoride, make sure to ask for it at your next appointment!