For optimum oral health, it is common knowledge that children need fluoride as their teeth are erupting throughout childhood, usually between ages 5 and 17. In fact, many studies show that lack of fluoride directly contributes to dental decay.
But did you know that fluoridation is beneficial for adults also?
Fluoride is prevalent in municipal water and in many foods. In addition, most toothpastes and mouthwashes are fortified with fluoride. However, there are a variety of situations that cause adults to lose fluoride, increasing the risk of tooth decay. To counteract this loss, you should consider fluoride treatments if you have a history of cavities, are fighting gum disease, have receding gums, have a dental crown or bridge, if your teeth are crowding, or if you are on medication that causes you to have dry mouth. You can discuss your specific situation with our dental hygienist at your next cleaning to determine if your oral health can be improved with extra fluoride.
There are two main ways that annual fluoride treatments can benefit adults:
- Prevention- With increasing lifespans, people are relying on their natural teeth to stay healthy well into their senior years. As you age, you experience more problems with receding gums, which can expose the tooth root to bacteria and lead to decay. Fluoride bonds with the root surface and offers a layer of protection against cavities.
- Remineralization- Early in the decay process, fluoride has been proven to not only halt it and keep it from doing further damage, but to even reverse it.
At Peninsula Dentistry, we will apply a preventative topical fluoride varnish in concentrations higher than you can get from your food or toothpaste. This can be done easily and painlessly during your next trip to the dentist. Call us today with any questions or to schedule your appointment.