Prevention is Key!
Our office encourages patients to maintain good oral health to help prevent dental problems. From regular checkups and cleanings to fluoride treatments and sealants, focusing on prevention furthers our goal of preventing serious dental problems from starting in the first place. Importantly, fluoride treatments help prevent cavities.
Dr. Albers wrote a blog post titled “Fluoride Helps Prevent Cavities,” which talks about the benefits of drinking fluoridated water. When we eat, bacteria in our mouth interact with sugars present in food and produce acid. Over time, this acid can wear away enamel, the hard outer surface of a tooth. If too much enamel wears away, the tooth no longer has enough protection and cavities can start to form. Research shows that fluoride in drinking water helps strengthen teeth when they are forming, which helps prevent cavities.
In addition to drinking fluoridated water, teeth can be strengthened by applying fluoride directly to their surface. During a fluoride treatment, Dr. Albers or one of our hygienists paints a fluoride varnish on the teeth. We have different flavors of varnish available, from bubble gum and fruit flavors (kid favorites) to mint and caramel (adult favorites). Although the treatment does not take long to complete, we recommend not eating crunchy or hot foods for a short period of time to give the varnish a chance to be absorbed by the enamel. Applying fluoride directly to teeth helps strengthen the enamel, which in turn helps prevent cavities from forming. An article written by dental professor who is also a mom provides interesting information about the benefits of fluoride and its safety for kids.
Fluoride Treatments for Adults
Although many people associate fluoride treatments with kids, we also suggest fluoride treatments for some of our adult patients who may be susceptible to cavity formation. As noted in this interesting article about concerns for adults over 60, some adults take medications that cause dry mouth, a condition that can lead to cavity formation. If our adult patients have conditions that make them more susceptible to cavities, fluoride treatments can be a good preventive option to consider.
Dr. Albers has the experience and training to treat many dental conditions and problems. However, we prefer to prevent those problems from happening in the first place. Fluoride treatments help us reach that goal.