By: Dr. Elizabeth Eggert
Most of us remember getting fluoride treatments as kids, sitting for minutes in the dentist’s chair with large, foam trays in our mouths. Once we reached adulthood, this part of our oral exam disappeared. But today, there’s evidence that many of us would benefit from the fluoride treatments we remember as kids.
What does fluoride do for adult teeth?
Fluoride is a mineral that strengthens teeth against decay and helps them heal from the constant demineralization process occurring in the mouth. It penetrates your teeth and draws phosphate and calcium from your saliva into your teeth. Fluoride also attacks the bacteria in your mouth that produces the acid that leads to tooth decay. Studies show that the miracle mineral can even repair early tooth decay before it becomes a cavity.
Do I need fluoride treatments as an adult?
You might! While we do get fluoride from our fluoride toothpaste and our fluoridated city water, making sure the teeth are exposed to fluoride regularly really does help prevent decay. There are many of us that choose to drink bottled water or have a private well in lieu of city water. In these instances a fluoride treatment is especially important.
Some other reasons to consider asking for a professional fluoride treatment involve your overall health. Some medical and oral health conditions might lead us to recommend you get regular fluoride treatments; for example, if you take medications that cause dry mouth or have had radiation on your head or neck, fluoride can help prevent the tooth decay your saliva usually takes care of. Fluoride treatments are also recommended for patients with receding gums or braces.
What fluoride treatments might Eggert Family Dentistry recommend?
There are several fluoride treatments we might recommend to our adult patients. Sometimes, we prescribe fluoride gel for at-home use for very high-risk patients. However, most patients find it very convenient to have a fluoride varnish treatment during each cleaning appointment. It is so easy – we just paint the fluoride on your teeth with a small brush. We still do offer the “old school” method of fluoride foam in the trays for those feeling nostalgic.
Ask us today how professional fluoride treatments can benefit you. We are happy to discuss it at your regular oral health exam. Email Eggert Family Dentistry today or call (651) 482-8412 to schedule an appointment.