What Is Fluoride & How Does It Help Prevent Cavities?

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Home » What Is Fluoride & How Does It Help Prevent Cavities?

If you know even a small amount of information about dental care, you have likely heard of fluoride. You can find this substance in your toothpaste and you might have heard that some water supplies also contain it. What exactly does fluoride do? Find out more about how fluoride prevents the creation of tooth decay and cavities.

tooth paste and tooth brush

What Is Fluoride?

Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral that you can usually find in water, as well as certain food and in fluorite. More specifically, fluoride is an ion that is reduced from fluorine, one of the most common elements on Earth. Fluoride is primarily known for how it prevents tooth decay that leads to cavities. It can prevent such conditions by three different methods.    

Fluoride Remineralizes Teeth

Tooth decay usually occurs when acidic bacteria in plaque destroy the outer layer of the teeth called the enamel. This loss in minerals weakens teeth to the point where it can cause cavities. A good application of fluoride replenishes the mineral levels in teeth, a process known as remineralization. Fluoride not only brings minerals back to the tooth layer but also attracts other minerals such as calcium, which improves the remineralization process.

Protects From Demineralization

In addition to undoing the effects from demineralization, fluoride also provides stronger protection against future demineralization attempts. Specifically, fluoride’s remineralization process leads to the creation of a tooth material that manages to stay even more resistant to acidic bacteria than the other typical mineral components found in teeth.

Has Antibacterial Properties

Not only can fluoride restore mineral levels to the teeth and provide stronger protection against the acid that bacteria produce, but it can also combat the bacteria that cause the condition in the first place. Fluoride can specifically inhibit bacterial enzymes. These enzymes are necessary for bacteria to consume sugars, which is the main form of nutrition for the bacteria. Fluoride is available in both regular over-the-counter and prescription products.

Using Fluoride

How to use fluoride to keep your teeth strong against decay:

  • Use toothpaste with an ADA-approved amount of fluoride
  • Let toothpaste linger instead of immediately washing it
  • Talk to your dentist about other fluoridated products such as mouth rinses
  • See your dentist or hygienist regularly for cleanings and in-office fluoride treatments

Fluoride is a beneficial mineral that helps you maintain your teeth free from decay and cavities.

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Martin Taylor Dentistry

Dr. Jeff Martin and Dr. William Taylor

Martin-Taylor Dentistry is a partnership between Dr. Jeff Martin and Dr. William Taylor. Highly skilled and experienced, they provide emergency, preventative, restorative, cosmetic, children’s, and implant dentistry services.

Dr. Martin is an alumnus of the University of Arizona and Baylor College of Dentistry. He established his practice in 1978. Dr. Martin has completed on 1,500 hours of continuing education in dentistry. Dr. Taylor studied at the University of Arizona and the University of Southern California. He is experienced in general, cosmetic, and implant dentistry. Dr Taylor has also completed many hours of continuing education.
Both are licensed and skilled in sedation dentistry, so you can be as comfortable as possible.

Together with their excellent team, Martin-Taylor Dentistry will take great care of you.

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Dr. Taylor, Dr. Martin, and their entire staff are the very best. The front desk staff, the dental assistants, and dental hygienists are excellent. I’ve been to many dentists over the years, and they are the most skilled and professional group of people that I have encountered. You can be confident you will be fully informed about what is recommended for a treatment plan and what it will cost. I’ve had the gamut of dental procedures — crowns, implants, root canals, and more routine care. It’s been made as pleasant and comfortable as possible by their skill, as well as their kindness and understanding. I wholeheartedly recommend Martin and Taylor Dentistry.

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Alice L. 4 months ago

I have been a patient of Dr. Taylor’s for most of my adult hood. I have had everything done from a filling to multiple dental implants. All of my procedures have been straightforward with zero complications and as little discomfort as possible. Even after my implants I had minimal pain! Before I saw Dr. Taylor I was terrified of dentists, but he put me at ease with his expertise. The hygienists are kind, thorough but gentle, and knowledgeable. The office staff is very friendly and helpful. The office itself is modern and impeccably clean. I highly recommend Martin Tayler dentistry and won’t trust my teeth to any other dentists.

Rosemary B.

Rosemary B. 3 months ago

Welcome the newest member of our team at Martin Taylor Dentistry, Dr. Melvin Abraham!