Fluoride treatment is commonly used for kids to help prevent tooth decay and protect children’s teeth by providing protection from cavities. But did you know that fluoride treatment is equally as important for adults? While brushing and flossing are an essential part of proper oral care, fluoride can further help to prevent decay and resist cavities.
What Is Fluoride?
Fluoride may sound like an artificial chemical used in oral care, but it is actually a naturally occurring mineral you’ve likely been using without knowing. The American Dental Association (ADA) has even classified fluoride as being, “nature’s cavity fighter.” Since the 1930’s, researchers have known that fluoride added to public drinking water can help to strengthen teeth. Studies have consistently revealed that communities who use fluoride in drinking water have healthier teeth then communities that don’t.
What Are The Benefits Of Fluoride Treatment?
Through a process called remineralization, fluoride is absorbed by the teeth and restores lost minerals that strengthen our teeth. Both demineralization and remineralization occur naturally in your mouth. Demineralization occurs when the bacteria found in plaque weakens your enamel. Fluoride protects against this process through mineralization, which replenishes calcium and protects your teeth against decay. By helping this process with the addition of fluoride, you can better protect your enamel, and as a result protect against cavities.
Is Fluoride Treatment safe?
According to the American Dental Hygienists Association (ADHA) fluoride treatment is completely safe when used properly. The biggest risk factor from fluoride is using too much, which can cause a condition called dental fluorosis which is caused by consuming too much fluoride while teeth are still developing. As previously mentioned, safe levels of fluoride can be found in water, however, fluorosis is only likely to occur if a child swallows too much fluoride treatment, which is very difficult to do in the dental setting. Where dry mouth is caused by medication or medical conditions (such as intentional radiation of the salivary glands to treat a nearby cancer), fluoride releasing trays or prescription fluoride toothpaste are necessary as well to protect one’s teeth in the long term.
How is treatment provided?
Topical fluoride treatments are the most common form and can be found both during in-office treatment as well as over the counter products such as mouthwashes and toothpaste. This type of application does not last long, however, if used consistently and properly can provide moderate protection against tooth decay.
Professional fluoride treatment can only be applied at the dentist office. These treatments include a varnish, gel, or foam, and are significantly stronger than over the counter products. When applied correctly, professional fluoride treatment has higher strength than over the counter and lasts for a longer period of time.
Prescription fluoride supplements in both liquid and tablet form are also available but are typically used for children who are not drinking fluoridated water.
Does Insurance Cover Fluoride Treatment?
Insurance coverage will be determined based on the provider and insurance plan that you have. If you are unsure whether or not your insurance will cover fluoride treatments, speak to your dentist directly and they can help answer any questions that you have.
Schedule Your Treatment
If you are interested in learning more about how fluoride can keep your teeth safe or are interested in treating your teeth with fluoride, visit any of our Dental365 locations in New York, Connecticut, and New Jersey. Contact us at (844) 365-DENTAL for more information or to schedule an appointment.