Your teeth are constantly under attack by cavity-causing bacteria. The hard outer layer of your teeth, called the enamel, defends your smile from tooth decay. While it is the hardest substance in your body, it isn’t indestructible. Not to mention, it can’t regenerate. Fluoride is a great solution to strengthen your enamel to make it more resistant to decay. Besides getting the mineral from your dental products and diet, your dentist can provide a fluoride varnish. Since they are typically recommended for children, it’s normal to wonder, do adults need fluoride treatments? Yes! Here are a few situations where it might be right for you.
What is a Fluoride Treatment?
Fluoride is known as “nature’s cavity fighter” because it has been shown to strengthen the enamel. In some cases, it can also remineralize the teeth to combat the early stage of decay. Fluoride is essential because tooth decay is the biggest threat to your oral health. Although it’s preventable, at least 92% of adults have had at least one cavity. Not to mention, 1 in 8 Americans have sensitive teeth, which can be caused by weakened enamel. Applying a fluoride varnish helps preserve your smile to reduce sensitivity. The quick, painless treatment safeguards your teeth to ensure they stay healthy for a lifetime.
Am I a Candidate for a Fluoride Treatment?
Most dental insurances only cover fluoride treatments until the age of 18, which is why they typically aren’t used for adults; however, you’re never too old to benefit from nature’s cavity fighter. Generally, a dentist will recommend the preventive treatment for adults who have specific oral health concerns, such as:
- Risk of Tooth Decay: Certain medications can reduce saliva flow, which can lead to dry mouth. It creates the perfect environment for cavity-causing bacteria to thrive. In addition, some people are genetically predisposed to tooth decay.
- Tooth Sensitivity: When the enamel is weakened, it can lead to tooth sensitivity because there isn’t enough insulation between the outside elements and the inner layers of your tooth.
- Gum Recession: Exposed surfaces of the roots are softer than your enamel, which makes them more vulnerable to decay.
- Restorations: Fluoride can protect the margins of restorations. This can help to ensure your crowns or bridges last for years.
- After Orthodontics: Traditional braces can be difficult to clean around. A fluoride treatment may be recommended after your brackets and wires are removed to keep your teeth strong.
Invest in a Cavity-Free Smile
Although fluoride varnishes are effective at reducing tooth decay, they aren’t a substitute for your oral hygiene, a healthy diet, or routine care from your dentist. With a proactive approach to your dental health, you can enjoy a cavity-free smile.
About Dr. Daniel Passidomo
Dr. Passidomo earned his dental degree from the University of Kentucky College of Dentistry before continuing his training in endodontics and prosthodontics. He offers advanced solutions for complex oral health issues. If you’re ready for a modern approach to dental care, contact our office today to schedule an appointment.