What is Fluoride & Why Is It Important for Healthy Teeth?

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Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve probably heard of fluoride at some point. You know it’s good for your teeth, but what does it really do? Why is fluoride an important part of your overall oral health and dental hygiene?

In this article, we’re going to discuss what fluoride is and give you specific details on how it works and why it is important for your oral health.

What is Fluoride?

apple-eating-squareAs mentioned in this article from Colgate, Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral that helps to rebuild the mineral crystals (enamel) that are lost during demineralization. In other words, fluoride helps to fight plaque and bacteria that can cause eroding of tooth enamel, which in turn can cause cavities.

Even though fluoride is a naturally occurring substance in our bodies, it’s important to supplement fluoride intake by drinking fluoridated water and using fluoride toothpaste or mouthwash.

What Products Contain Fluoride?

As mentioned above, most people get their intake of fluoride from three primary sources:

  • Fluoridated tap water
  • Toothpaste with fluoride (check the label on yours to make sure)
  • Mouthwash with fluoride

Fluoride treatment is typically grouped into either topical fluoride treatments or systemic fluoride treatments. Topical fluoride treatments consist of toothpaste, mouthwash, or other oral hygiene products, while systemic fluoride is ingested through fluoridated water, supplements, or foods and beverages.

What’s interesting is that, while topical fluoride treatments are typically rinsed out (and thus do not enter into the body with the exception of the mouth), systemic fluoride finds its way into the bloodstream and is distributed throughout the entire body.

Fluoride is also found in saliva, which acts as a constant and natural “fluoride bath treatment” for your precious teeth!

What About the Controversy Regarding Fluoride in Drinking Water?

teeth-white-squareYou may have heard some people say that the fluoride in drinking water is somehow bad for you or unsafe. Typically, these people claim that fluoridated water violates informed consent and that water fluoridation is not necessary.

While we certainly respect an individual and their right to have an opinion on the matter, we believe that fluoride in the drinking water is a good thing as it helps to protect against tooth decay and enamel breakdown.

In fact, over 60 years of research has shown that water fluoridation is not only safe, but is the single most important public safety measure to prevent tooth decay (source: https://www.deltadentalins.com/oral_health/about-fluoride.html).

To put it simply, fluoridated water is a good thing!

Should I Be Taking Fluoride Supplements?

square-smileThe fact that fluoride is available in tap water, toothpaste, mouthwash, as well as many foods means that most adults (if using the above sources for fluoride treatment) are getting enough daily fluoride.

In some cases, children between the ages of 6 months and 16 years of age are given a fluoride supplement. This is typically only done when a child is not drinking fluoridated water and he/she needs to get their necessary fluoride intake from another source.

For the majority of the population who drink tap water and use a fluoride toothpaste on a regular basis, fluoride supplements simply aren’t needed.

In Conclusion: Fluoride is Important for Healthy Teeth!

There is a reason that dentists encourage patients to drink fluoridated water and use a fluoride mouthwash and toothpaste (we also give fluoride rinses at all hygiene appointments). Fluoride is an essential mineral that helps to protect against cavities, ensuring that you have healthy teeth and a beautiful smile for years to come.

If you have any questions about fluoride treatment or if it has been a long time since you’ve seen a dentist, give our practice nearest you a call today!

We have two locations (Babylon Dental Care at Great South Bay and Babylon Dental Care at Gateway Plaza) and would love to meet you and your family.

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“This is quite possibly the most impressive Dental office I’ve ever seen. All the staff goes above and beyond to make you feel welcome. The office is so gorgeous through out. I loved my hygienist, she was very knowledgeable and very thorough and informative about being proactive with your hygiene habits. Dr Hsu was amazing. I highly recommend him. Very professional and explains everything he’s doing and that you’re comfortable during the visit. I’m really glad I found this office and my new Dentist.”

Angel W


“I went there during covid as my dentist was shut down by the pandemic. They really do everything they can to make you feel good about your experience. Melanie who cleans my teeth as well is wonderful and does a great job everything by the time I leave I don't want to go. Excellent place for dental work. They go above and beyond.”

Connor L


“At Babylon Dental Care, “care” is given from arrival to check out. I was anxious; it had been a few years since my last filling. From the moment I walked into the exam room, Karen comforted me. She explained the process, answered my questions and talked with me to keep me calm. Dr. Wrann was excellent! I did not have any pain before, during or after the procedure. So happy! Thank you to a truly great team!”

Kristina F


“Had the zoom whitening treatment and all I can say is wow!!”

Beth L


“I cannot adequately express my appreciation for this practice. Best dental practice ever! Everyone is so kind, caring and respectful. I don't dread going to the dentist anymore. I've had a lot of work done and am extremely pleased. They are very gentle and strive to keep you pain free. Very professional from reception on up. I highly recommend Babylon Dental. Would give them 10 stars if I could!”

Debra B


“I've never had such an amazing experience at a dentist. They are so kind, so caring, so friendly, and really make you feel appreciated and not just like a patient number. I am blown away by the care I received here, and will be recommending them to everyone I know!”

Jessica C


“Babylon Dental Care is an amazing practice! I had an issue with my teeth and they took me immediately. Their friendly and compassionate staff walked me through each step and in a matter of a week I had that tooth extracted and my flipper ready for every day use! You can’t even tell I have it in! The office is spotless and they even have Netflix! How cool is that! You’re welcomed as soon as you walk in and they made me feel so comfortable. Dr. Golo and Dr. Knakal took such good care of me and I would recommend them to anyone! The office is so convenient and literally across the street from my home so it doesn’t get better than that! Thank you Babylon Dental!”

Joseph S


“I recently moved approximately 300 miles away, I continue to make the trip back to Babylon Dental Care. My hygienist Paige could not be kinder, friendlier or professional. I have been having issues with bone loss in my jaws and now it's time for implants. Dr. Knakal has been outstanding. I know I am in the best hands. Everyone I have dealt with at BDC from the receptionists to the checkout personnel are awesome! I will be continuing to make the trip for all my dental care.”

Pete R


“Very professional staff and the hygienist Melody is amazing. The dentist are very thorough and they explained every little bit of details of your procedure. They make you feel so relaxed and welcoming. I would recommend Babylon Dental Care to anyone.”

Verona B


“Professional and courteous staff, every time I come here I’m more than satisfied. Dr Wrann & Dr Knakal are exceptionally good. I would highly recommend Babylon Dental!”

Nick S


“I've been coming here for about a year and a half. I have always had Francesca and she's great. She's always professional, friendly and honest with me. They have a pretty good system with the walkie-talkies too which makes the process more or less pretty smooth. I also really appreciate that they are transparent up front with cost, not many places are like that in my experiences.”

Scott A


“I have been using Babylon Dental Care for almost 10 years. Dr. Brown, Jen, Melody and Michelle are incredible. They are always concerned with the patients well being and health making it a different experience. They treat you like family, not a patient. I use them for dentistry and their silent night therapy. Thank you for taking care of my family. Great job team!”

Chuck M


“Amazing experience getting my teeth cleaned at Babylon Dental Care. Melody is fantastic and provided a top-notch painless service. Highly recommend.”

Ron S


“First time here, never felt so comfortable at the dentist. Super clean and friendly staff. Corrin and Dr. Brown are absolutely wonderful! Very thorough and knowledgeable.”

Cara P


“I would highly recommend Babylon Dental Care. The Drs and Staff are all very friendly and professional. They take the extra time to explain the procedures which are truly done gently and with care. I saw Dr. Knakal and Dr. Diamond. The lobby is comfortable and the dental work areas are immaculate. Also, I have never had to wait very long before being seen!”

Regina B


“First visit and everyone was so nice and made the transition to a new dentist seamless! Corinn did a great cleaning and explained everything as she was doing it!”

Kayleigh P


“Everyone in the Patchogue office are wonderful! Kind, caring, and attentive. I have always hated dentists but I am never anxious to come there. I can honestly say I have NEVER felt this at ease. Thank you all for making this a wonderful experience for me. I won’t ever hesitate to go to the dentist again!”

Susan G


“From the moment I walked in it was a great experience. The facility is modern and clean. I was treated extremely well. And I really don't like going to the dentist but I'm actually looking forward to my next visit. Everyone I met was great! Thank you for making me feel comfortable.”

Tom M


“Dr. David and the entire staff at Babylon Dental Care are amazing! Every single person who works there is so kind compassionate. I’m a very nervous patient and Dr. David and his assistant Amber made me feel so at ease. I highly recommend Babylon Dental Care especially if you’re an anxious patient!”

Elisabeth D


“Love this office and all staff! From the front desk, to the hygienist, the dentists and the lovely ladies that check you out, it’s a top notch experience. I trust them 100%!”

Marian P


“This was my first time at this Dental office. I went in for a cleaning and dental exam. The office is Clean and modern. I felt comfortable and welcomed right from the start. My hygienist 'Melody' was great! I feel that she was very thorough, talked me through everything she was doing and made recommendations for improving my routine at home. My dental exam with Dr. Diamond was just as pleasant. I liked that she also took her time and I didn't feel rushed. All-in-all it was a good experience. The entire team at the clinic displayed a high level of professionalism and made me feel comfortable throughout my visit.”

Brenda S


“I had my teeth cleaned by Melody and she did an incredible job. She is gentle, and caring. My teeth look and feel amazing! I normally hate going to the dentist but now look forward to my cleanings with Melody and this location! Everyone is this office is so kind and sweet from the moment you walk in.”

Gillian W


“Really love this office, they are so kind and non judge mental, I have dealt with so many judge mental dental offices and I have felt totally at ease here. Truly grateful to find them. Dr David is so gentle and for the first time ever I don’t have an anxiety attack coming in to the dentist. The ladies in the front are a pleasure as well, Beth is a breathe of fresh air.”

Angela P


“Absolutely incredible team. From the very moment you walk in you're greeted with kindness and people who want to help you. When I was asked how everything was I literally told them I was speechless. Having had terrible experiences as a kid with dentistry I wasn't sure if the nice things I've heard and read would live up to my expectation. I'm so glad they met them, and even went above and beyond what I had imagined. They offered me several options (a comfort menu) for things I could ask for to help make the time go by easier and with less anxiety.. all for free! If you have been holding off due to how long it's been and how anxious you might be then take this as your sign to look into coming here. I really truly am so glad I overcame my fear and made my appointment, they are just *that* good”

Brian K