Can adults benefit from fluoride?
New research shows that everyone can benfit from fluoride. Experts used to think that fluoride worked mainly by strengthening teeth while they were still developing. This meant that children were the focus of fluoridation efforts. Studies now show that topical fluoride i.e. toohpastes, mouthrinses and fluoride treatments, helps fight decay in people of all ages.
How do I know if I need special fluoride treatment?
If your drinking water is fluoridated, then brushing regularly with fluoride toothpaste is considered sufficient for most adults with healthy teeth. 43 of the 50 largest U.S. cities add fluoride to their public water supplies to help reduce tooth decay. You can find out if your water is fluoridated by calling your local water district, or by having your water analyzed if it comes from a private well. People who drink mostly bottled water and those with the following conditions should talk to their dentist about special fluoride treatments:
-If you are taking medications that cause dry mouth or have a disease that causes dry mouth. Without saliva to neutralize the acids in your mouth and wash away food particles, you're ore susceptible to tooth decay.
-If your gums have receded or pulled away from the teeth. This gives bacteria more room to roam and hastens tooth decay.
-If you wear braces. Braces and other orthodontic appliances trap a lot of bacteria that can lead to cavities.
-If you've had radiation therapy to the neck or head. Radiation damages the salivary glands, causing dry mouth.
What are different types of fluoride treatments?
You can recieve fluoride treatments at your dentist's office. Our office has 2 types of professionaly applied fluoride. 1) Foam Fluoride treatment- Fluoride is applied to the teeth in trays on the upper and lower arch. The trays are placed in the mouth and applied for 1 minute. After treatment you will be asked to not eat or drink anything for 30 minutes. 2) Fluoride Varnish treatment- The fluoride is applied directly to the teeth with a small brush. Once the fluoride is applied you will be asked to keep it on your teeth for 2 hours. Within that 2 hour time frame we ask you do not eat/drink anything hot, crunchy or sticky because this can take the fluoride off the teeth. After the 2 hours you can brush the fluoride off your teeth with regular brushing at home. We also have Fluoridex toothpaste that contains a higher amount of fluoride that is not in over the counter toothpastes. The toothpaste is recommended for people that have a higher risk for decay.
If you have any questions, ask your dentist today!!