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We all want healthy teeth. And we all do the best we can to maintain a strong smile. But all teeth age and wear down. What can we do to keep teeth healthy and strong? One good resource from Mother Nature is fluoride.

Fluoride is a naturally-occurring mineral that strengthens the enamel on our teeth. The enamel is like the smooth, hard, outer layer of a beautiful porcelain bowl that covers and protects the porous inner layer. Under the enamel, our teeth are softer and more prone to decay. So keeping enamel strong is important to overall healthy teeth.

Fluoride works over our whole lifespan. Before teeth erupt, any fluoride we absorb from food strengthens the enamel in a systemic benefit. After teeth appear, fluoride helps remineralize weak enamel and can reverse early tooth decay. It can be applied topically to the tooth with a fluoride toothpaste. Fluoride from food and drink becomes part of your saliva, and is constantly reapplied throughout the day. This is one reason dry mouth can lead to tooth decay.

You can get fluoride easily in two ways. Many communities add fluoride to their drinking water. This is a tiny amount–only a handful of parts per million–but tooth decay in populations with fluoridated water is dramatically less than in populations without. You can also use a fluoride toothpaste. Not all toothpastes contain fluoride, though, so check for an ADA Seal of Acceptance.

Your smile is a priceless asset, and it deserves to be protected. Please call our office in Indianapolis, Indiana, with any questions you have about fluoride, as well as to schedule an appointment at 317.637.4636.