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For dental patients who don’t know what it is or how important it is for your teeth, fluoride can be considered a bit of a buzzword.

When it comes down to it, fluoride isn’t just a fancy dental term, but something essential for your oral health.

So what is it?

Fluoride is a naturally-occurring mineral found in water and a variety of foods. It’s actually the 13th most abundant element in our planet’s crust!

Not only does fluoride aid in preventing tooth decay by helping to make your teeth more resistant to acid from plaque and sugars, it can also reverse signs of early tooth decay. How?

Each and every day, minerals are added to, and lost from, your teeth’s enamel layer through the processes of demineralization and remineralization.

Demineralization weakens the surface of our teeth, and their enamel, through our mouths’ bacteria producing acid. Remineralization, on the other hand, strengthens our teeth through the minerals in our saliva hardening our enamel.

Fluoride plays an integral role here, increasing the remineralization process, preventing cavities from forming in our mouths.

There are a variety of ways you can ensure you’re getting the fluoride your teeth need, including:

  • Directly applying fluoride to your teeth through toothpaste and mouthrinse with fluoride.
  • Having your dentist carry out a topical fluoride treatment on your teeth, applying a gel, foam or varnish.
  • Taking fluoride supplements each day, as prescribed by a dentist, pediatrician or family doctor.

Interested in learning more about fluoride or how you can ensure your teeth are getting enough? Read this article from WebMD.

And feel free to call our office with any inquiries you might have as well! NY Dental Group’s expert staff is always here to answer your questions.