What is Adult Fluoride Therapy?
Fluoride is a mineral which occurs in many foods and water naturally. This mineral helps to prevent tooth decay by making teeth stronger against the acid which is formed by plaque bacteria and sugars. It can also help to reverse decay which has been caused. Teeth frequently lose important minerals from their teeth when people eat and bacteria accumulates and is usually replaced by other foods and water. However, this remineralization may not make up for the loss of minerals and here fluoride therapy can help. At the dentist’s office fluoride therapy can be used to strengthen teeth and repair damage caused by the build up of acid and bacteria.
What Types of Fluoride is Available at the Dentist?
At the dentist’s office, fluoride can be used in either a gel, varnish, or foam. As a gel, the fluoride can be painted on or put into a mouth guard and applied to teeth for a few minutes. As a varnish it is painted on and as a foam a mouth guard is used. The mouth guard application usually lasts about one to four minutes. The concentration of fluoride in these treatments is much higher than that of water or even toothpastes. Fluoride can also be given as a supplement in either a liquid or tablet form and must be prescribed by the doctor.
Do Adults Need Extra Fluoride or Just Children?
When teeth are developing between the ages of 6 months and 16 years, patients are frequently told to make sure they are receiving enough fluoride. It is a common recommendation to parents who bring in their children. However, adults can also benefit from fluoride therapy. These topical fluoride treatments help to fight tooth decay and strengthen teeth. If a person consumes a large amount of sugary foods or drinks, they are particularly at risk for tooth decay and a fluoride treatment can be especially helpful. Those with deep grooves or pits, who have dental work already in their mouth, have a history of cavities, have gum disease, or suffer from dry mouth are also at a greater risk of tooth decay and can benefit from fluoride therapy.