Here is a little blog I typed up because so many patients ask me what fluoride actually does, and why it's important...
What does Fluoride actually do?
Fluoride is used to help protect your teeth from bacteria in a couple ways.
After eating a meal, the bacteria in your mouth combines with the sugars from your meal and produces a higher acidity level. This acid level leads to demineralization of the tooth structure, and fluoride will help to protect your teeth from this demineralization.
Secondly, before a cavity forms it starts out as a chalky white structure which shows that part of the tooth’s minerals has been lost. Fluoride helps restore those lost minerals to prevent that white chalky area from turning into a cavity. However, if the cavity is already formed then the area must be restored to prevent further damage to the tooth.
Fluoride is important for both children, and adults. Children need fluoride to help protect their permanent teeth as they are forming, and adults need it to protect their teeth from decay. Every person is different, and therefore their need for fluoride is different. It all depends on your overall oral condition to determine how often fluoride treatment should be given.