Fluoride plays an important role in the prevention of dental caries.
The primary mechanism of action of fluoride in preventing dental caries is topical. Fluoride acts in the following ways to prevent dental caries:
- It enhances remineralization of the tooth enamel. This is the most important effect of fluoride in caries prevention.
- It inhibits demineralization of the tooth enamel.
- It makes cariogenic bacteria less able to produce acid from carbohydrates.
See Chapter 4: Caries for a complete review of the pathogenesis of dental caries.