Do Adults Need Fluoride Treatments?
Many of my adult patients ask whether they should have fluoride treatments. Remember, fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral that helps prevent tooth decay by making the tooth more resistant to acid attacks from plaque bacteria and sugars in the mouth. Adults want to know if there are any specific benefits to adding the treatment to their regular dental exams.
Recent studies have shown that the topical fluoride applications applied by a dentist or hygienist do have a positive benefit for those patients with higher than average risk for cavities. Here are some of the specific situations that warrant extra fluoride protection for adults:
- Use of medications that cause dry mouth. The reduction in saliva increases the risk of cavities.
- Recessed gums. The exposed section of the root surface is softer than the enamel at the top of the tooth, making it more susceptible to decay.
- Sensitive teeth. Fluoride treatments reduce the sensitivity by rebuilding (re-mineralizing) the enamel.
- Frequent cavities. If you have had recent restorations, you may have a good chance of getting more cavities.
If any of these situations apply to you, talk to your dentist. Fluoride is found most drinking water and in various types of toothpaste and mouth rinse. For those patients who have additional needs, it can be applied directly to your teeth during your next dental visit with a gel, foam, or rinse.
Remember, beautiful teeth are healthy teeth!
Dr. Nishan Halim
Nishan Halim, DMD specializes in a comprehensive approach to dental care in his Capitol Hill, Washington DC neighborhood dental center. When treatment plans include specialty work, he coordinates every step with the practitioners you choose from his referral network. Contact Dr. Halim to schedule an appointment.
~Winner of the 2015 Hilly Award for Best Healthcare Provider~