Fluoride Treatments: Not Just for Kids
Not a fan of fillings? Then you’ll be glad to hear that a painless way to prevent cavities in adults is gaining in popularity: fluoride varnish. Fluoride treatment is standard practice for children’s teeth, but not so much for adults. But that could be changing.
Fluoride seeps into tooth enamel and attracts the calcium and phosphate naturally in the saliva, boosting our teeth’s natural healing process and making them more resistant to decay. Fluoride also attacks acid-producing bacteria in our mouths, making it more difficult for these bacteria to stick to our teeth.
As dentistry trends toward personal treatment plans—when you and your dentist work together to create a plan that suits your lifestyle, diet, and risk for cavities—we’ll likely see more and more adults utilizing this simple treatment.
A big advocate for using fluoride treatment on adults, John Featherstone, dean of the University of California, San Francisco School of Dentistry, developed a way to measure a person’s risk for tooth decay. The system tests bacteria in the mouth and looks at dietary habits, medical conditions, medications, saliva flow, and dental health history. Using this data, Featherstone developed personal treatment plans for his patients and found that this preventative process was far more effective than treating disease after the fact.
The reason preventative care like this can be so effective is because tooth decay is actually a slow process. By the time a cavity has developed, it’s too late and dentist’s need to pull out the drill. But when caught early, decay can be reversed with treatments like these.
Whether it’s time for your semi-annual visit or you’re interested in learning more about a personal treatment plan or fluoride varnish for adults, give us a call. We’re always happy to set up an appointment and walk through your treatment options.