DO ADULTS NEED FLUORIDE TREATMENTS?
Many dentists and hygienists recommend fluoride treatments for their adult patients. But since most insurance plans only provide benefits for fluoride treatments up to age 18, you may ask yourself, “Do I really need fluoride treatment? I thought those were just for my kids.”
What you need to know as a dental consumer is that studies have shown topical fluoride applications performed by a dental professional create significant benefits for adults who have moderate to high risk for cavities.
As a result, you should seriously consider fluoride treatments if you:
- Take prescription medications. Many prescription medications reduce saliva flow or otherwise create dry mouth. A reduction in saliva increases your cavity risk.
- Have gum recession. Gum recession exposes part of the root surface of teeth. These areas are softer than the hard enamel at the top of the tooth, which makes them more susceptible to decay.
- Have restorative work such as crowns or bridges. Fluoride can help protect the seams of these restorations, ultimately protecting your investment.
- Have braces. Braces make it more challenging for patients to maintain good oral hygience. Fluoride can keep the teeth strong and cavity-free during orthodontic treatment.
- Have a history of cavities. If you have had cavities in the past, you are at a higher risk of getting them in the future. Fluoride treatments are a great way to prevent more cavities in patients who are already prone to them.
- Don’t floss every day. If your oral hygiene is not ideal, fluoride could be just the thing to keep your neglect from leading to cavities between your teeth.
- Have sensitive teeth. Diets high in acidic foods and beverages, gum recession, tooth grinding and increased use of whitening products all tend to produce sensitive teeth. Fluoride treatments re-mineralize tooth enamel and reduce sensitivity.
- Are undergoing radiation treatment for cancer. Radiation damages saliva glands, thus greatly reducing the flow of saliva. Saliva neutralizes acids in the foods we eat and beverages we drink.
If one or more of these conditions applies to you, you should consider requesting a topical fluoride treatment. Investing in the benefits of fluoride treatments could save you significant money long term.