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How Does Fluoride Work? Princeton, NJ
woman showing her white teeth

30 years after we use fluoride treatment successfully in prevention of dental caries in the US, as a dental practitioner, I still get asked a lot when we recommend fluoride varnish in my office: “what does it really do?” The research on fluoridation and dental health has been extensive, but the peer reviewed journals are beyond comprehension in general population. We have been telling our patients that we should curtail the amount and frequency of sugar intake, clean their teeth diligently everyday to minimize plaque build up, use fluoridated toothpaste and fluoride varnish in office.

What is the science behind it?

Fluoride is a mineral that occurs naturally in many foods and water. Every day, minerals are added to and lost from a tooth’s enamel layer through two processes, demineralization and remineralization. Minerals are lost (demineralization) from a tooth’s enamel layer when acids — formed from plaque bacteria and sugars in the mouth — attack the enamel. Minerals such as fluoride, calcium, and phosphate are redeposited (remineralization) to the enamel layer from the foods and waters consumed. Too much demineralization without enough remineralization to repair the enamel layer leads to tooth decay.

Fluoride helps prevent tooth decay by making the tooth more resistant to acid attacks from plaque bacteria and sugars in the mouth. It also reverses early decay. In children under 6 years of age, fluoride becomes incorporated into the development of permanent teeth, making it difficult for acids to demineralize the teeth. Fluoride also helps speed remineralization as well as disrupts acid production in already erupted teeth of both children and adults by inhibiting key enzymes in acidogenesis of pathogenic bacteria.

In summary, fluoride is by far the most effective treatment and prevention measure for dental decay from the source. The American Dental Association recommends it to all kids and adults who have moderate to high risk for dental decay. These include people who have more than one dental caries, root surface exposure and dry mouth patients.

On top of daily oral hygiene protocol with brushing with fluoridated toothpaste, fluoride varnish treatment in dental office every 6 months is very effective. The concentration of fluoride varinshes is 50 more times than everyday fluoride. They are easily and quickly applied. They dry rapidly and will set even in the presence of saliva. It has a sticky consistency which helps it to adhere to the tooth’s surface thereby allowing the fluoride to stay in contact with the tooth for several hours. Based on published findings, professionally applied fluoride varnish does not appear to be a risk factor for dental fluorosis, even in children under the age of 6. This is due to the reduction in the amount of fluoride which may potentially be swallowed during the fluoride treatment because of the small quantities used and the adherence of the varnish to the teeth. Fluoride varnish treatments are shown to reduce the number of the cariogenic bacteria S. Mutans by over ten-fold.

Posted on behalf of Prime Dental Care

417 Wall St
Princeton, NJ, 08540

(609) 651-8618

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4.7 / 5.0

Based on 43 reviews

Julia Y.

Very nice, cozy office. Dr. Oh was very professional, smart, and trustworthy. My hygienist Dahee was also professional, polite, and informative. I felt comfortable and confident that I was in good hands. My teeth also felt so clean after! After not having been to the dentist in >3 yrs, I was worried about the state of my teeth, but they did not make me feel embarrassed at all. Receptionists are super polite as well. Highly recommend this high-quality care!

Christian B.

By far the best Dental practice I have ever visited. Dr. Ma and her team are very professional and friendly. They always clearly explain what they are doing so I feel comfortable when I am there. You can also watch Netflix while you are having your procedure performed. A root canal is never fun, but not so bad when watching Stranger Things or Sherlock. I would highly recommend the entire team at Prime Dental Care.

M L.

There are good dentist and there are great dentist...Dr.Ma is one of those great doctors that you hope you find and once you do, you know you'll never leave them. I've never been to a dentist that does it all....and does it so well. Everyone in the office is caring and professional...the hygienist are amazing and so careful not to cause any pain or discomfort.... for those of us who hate going to the dentist there are shows you can watch while they work on your teeth...a welcome distraction to the not so brave ( like me)! I really can't say enough good things about this amazing dentist and office...I am so lucky to have found them. Best.Dentist.Ever.

Hannah L.

Very professional and friendly environment with staff that are knowledgeable, personable and easy to discuss dental care with. There is a lot of comfort in the office with massage chairs and Netflix to watch while you're having your teeth cleaned. Always a great and easy experience!

Penny H.

I am from Europe, used to be terrified of the dentist. I still dont like going, but I am not terrified anymore. This staff is fantastic and goes out of their way to make me comfortable and always do everything to set my mind at ease

Kylie F.

Dr. Ma is my favorite dentist, and our whole family like her and her state of the art facility very much. She provides exceptional service and high quality care in a pleasing, relaxing environment. She is very thorough, takes the time needed to provide the best dental care, and it shows that she cares about her patients. She is a very experienced dentist and she educates us on all available treatment options and teach us the benefits of good oral hygiene to prevent future problems. She is also very easy to make appointment and flexible on the schedule. I highly recommend her to all my friends in need.

Davida B.

I highly recommend Prime Dental. The dentist, hygienist,and receptionists are very knowledgeable and professional. I always look forward to going to Prime Dental. Katie, is very compassionate, funny, and nice. Top notch service.

K L.

Great experience! Dr. Ma and her staff are wonderful and very professional. I would definitely recommend them if you are looking for dental care.

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Monday

9AM - 6PM

Dr Ma
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Dr Oh

Tuesday

9AM - 6PM

Dr Oh

Wednesday

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Thursday

9AM - 5PM

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9AM - 3:30PM

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Prime Dental Care 417 Wall St Princeton NJ, 08540