As a child, you probably remember getting fluoride treatments at the dentist. Almost always after a cleaning, you would hold a foam tray of gel in your mouth for a few minutes or perhaps use a fluoride rinse. It was always something you knew was good for your teeth.
Then, one day, those fluoride treatments that are meant to strengthen your enamel and wipe out bacteria just stop. Most adults do not get fluoride as part of their routine dental cleaning visits. Why not? Are fluoride treatments beneficial for adults?
What Is Fluoride?
Before we go any further, let’s talk about what fluoride is.
Fluoride is a mineral that is naturally found in different water sources as well as in soil, plants, rocks, and the air. And, yes, it has also been added into most drinking waters throughout our country.
For many years, dentists have used fluoride to help strengthen the enamel of our teeth to prevent cavities. In addition to the tap water in your home, you can find fluoride in toothpaste, mouthwash, and various supplements. Though it should be noted that the over-the-counter versions of these products don’t often come with as high of a concentration of fluoride as the prescription versions do.
4 Major Benefits of Fluoride
The benefits of fluoride are plentiful and can assist in creating a strong foundation for a lifetime of oral health. Let’s take a look at some of the rewards you get from using fluoride regularly.
- Strengthen Tooth Enamel. You can protect the outside of your tooth by keeping the enamel strong and hard to penetrate. This will reduce the chance of cavities and even deeper tooth decay. Routinely using fluoride is what can help strengthen your tooth enamel.
- Remineralization. Minerals within the enamel are lost every day and need replenishing. With the regular use of fluoride, you can replenish the enamel with minerals like calcium and phosphorus making your teeth stronger and more protected.
- Reduce the Chance of Decay. Tooth decay happens when demineralization occurs and there is no remineralization to restore the enamel. By giving your enamel what it needs through fluoride, you can reduce the chance of decay.
- Wipe of Bacteria. We all know that bacteria has no business hanging out in your mouth – yet it makes its way in there rather easily. With fluoride treatments and the regular use of fluoride-infused products, such as toothpastes and mouthwash, you can keep the bacteria in your mouth at bay.
Can Fluoride Benefit Adults?
Are the above benefits just for children? Or, can adults benefit from fluoride, too? Truth is, as we age, our enamel needs added strength. We experience greater levels of tooth decay as adults – and this decay can go way beyond a simple filling. Further, gum disease and gum recession often appear, leaving us at risk for even more major dental issues.
Fluoride is able to help with many of the dental woes adults face – and we can reap the same benefits that kids do. So, while it may not be included in routine treatment for adults, it is still very much available.
Next time you head to the dentist, invest in that fluoride treatment. It can attack the bacteria in your mouth that are causing decay, slow it down, and maybe even reverse the dental issues you are facing altogether.
Interested in a Fluoride Treatment?
If you are interested in taking advantage of the benefits fluoride has to offer you, then Oak Road Dentistry can help. We provide new and established patients with preventative dental services designed to help them maintain their oral health. And that includes the use of fluoride.