Does Fluoride Really Prevent Cavities?

how fluoride prevents cavitiesFluoride’s inclusion in many dental hygiene products, like toothpaste and mouthrinse, are not a secret; nor is its addition to most municipal water supplies. Nevertheless, the exact role that fluoride plays, and how it helps you prevent cavities, is not always as well-known. The secret lies in how the mineral interacts with the protective layer of enamel around your teeth, which acts as the first line of defense against the oral bacteria that cause tooth decay.

The Protection Around Your Teeth

You might recognize tooth enamel as the strongest substance your body produces, but to maintain that strength, your teeth require a steady diet of certain minerals and nutrients—mainly calcium and phosphate. When plaque develops on your teeth, the bacteria that form it can convert the sugars and carbs you consume into acids that destroy your tooth enamel. Brushing and flossing the plaque away twice a day will minimize the acid attacks, while the fluoride in your toothpaste helps strengthen enamel by bonding to its weakened mineral surface.

Fluoride’s Role in Good Hygiene

Fluoride’s assistance in preventing cavities is limited to how well you take care of your dental health in the first place. If you don’t brush and floss enough, then bacteria and acid can overwhelm your enamel and allow tooth decay to form. For the utmost protection, be sure to brush with fluoride toothpaste at least twice a day, and floss at least once. Also, visit our office at least once every six months for routine dental checkups and cleanings. If your tooth enamel is especially weak, then we can recommend a topical fluoride treatment for more immediate enamel-boosting benefits.


Dr. Bob Jing has served patients and their families across Dallas/Ft. Worth for many years. Together with his caring, compassionate, and highly-skilled team at 7 Day Dental, Dr. Jing is dedicated to making good dental health available to as many people as possible. To learn more, or to schedule a consultation or appointment, contact our office closest to you at 817-405-2001 on Jacksboro Highway, or at 817-405-0195 on Seminary Drive.