Have you ever wondered why your dental hygienist ALWAYS recommends a fluoride treatment at each dental checkup? You’re thinking: fluoride is for kids. I’m an adult. I don’t need extra fluoride. My teeth are already strong. Well, that’s where you are wrong.
Even as adults, our teeth need extra help maintaining their strength. The common misconception is fluoride is only for kids. As children, we get cavities, but during our mid-adult years, we are more prone to gum disease, followed by susceptibility to root decay later in life. This is why fluoride is so important – to help slow down and even prevent tooth problems at every stage of our lives.
Fluoride is a nutrient naturally found in our drinking water, even in bottled water, but not at the optimal level to protect our teeth. When present at the right level, fluoride has two beneficial effects: preventing tooth decay and contributing to healthy bones. Fluoride is similar to calcium. Ever wonder why your doctor recommends a daily calcium supplement as we age? Again, to help keep our bones healthy and strong.
Dentists have used in-office fluoride treatments for decades to help maintain and/or improve their patients oral health; especially for those patients who are at a higher risk for developing cavities. Some factors that contribute to a patients risk for developing tooth decay are:
*poor oral hygiene
*drug or alcohol abuse
*lack of regular professional dental care
*active orthodontic treatment combined with poor oral hygiene
*high levels of decay-causing bacteria in the mouth
*exposed root surfaces of teeth
*decreased salivary flow, resulting in dry mouth
*tooth enamel defects
*undergoing head and neck radiation therapy
The in-office fluoride treatment is a stronger, concentrated form than that of the fluoride found in over the counter toothpastes and rinses. At Ballston Dental Arts, we encourage our patients to follow our twice a day routine: Brush with a fluoride toothpaste, floss, rinse with a fluoride mouthwash, and ALWAYS say YES when offered that extra dose of fluoride at dental checkups to maintain optimal oral health.
If you would like to discuss how fluoride can help you, visit us online at www.ballstondentalarts.com or call the office at (703) 931-5555 to schedule an appointment today!