How Does Fluoride Help Prevent Tooth Decay?


Drinking fluoridated water is a safe and effective way to protect your teeth from decay.  It is like drinking milk with vitamin D in it to help develop and maintain healthy bones.

Water naturally contains fluoride.  Community water fluoridation simply makes sure that the water that comes out of your tap has the ideal amount of fluoride for cavity protection.  Experts say that water offers the best protection from tooth decay with proper amounts of fluoride.  Your Roswell dentist says “please keep in mind, bottled water has no fluoride”.

Your teeth are coated with a film of bacteria called plaque.  When you eat or drink foods containing sugars, plaque produces acids that attack the surfaces of your teeth and causes cavities or tooth decay.  Fluoride can help keep these acids from breaking down your tooth surface.  Fluoride can strengthen your teeth in 2 ways, systemically and topically.  Dr. Wyman Martin at The Martin Dental Center in Roswell, GA recommends fluoride treatments two times per year, especially on children.

Systemically means the fluoride is working from inside your body.  When you eat or drink something that contains fluoride, it enters your bloodstream, helping make the teeth strong.  Systemic fluoride also is absorbed into your saliva.  Your saliva then washes over your teeth, bringing the fluoride with it.  Saliva acts topically to improve the surface of your teeth.

Topically, fluoride rebuilds teeth that already have come into the mouth when it comes into contact with the tooth’s surface.  Anything that brings fluoride into contact with your tooth’s surface – like saliva, water, or toothpaste – has a topical effect.

Dr. Martin suggests brushing your teeth twice daily for a minimum of 2 minutes and flossing daily.

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