“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” is very true when we recommend fluoride. My goal, as your dentist, is to keep your teeth healthy and strong into very old age. Fluoride, because of its many benefits, can help us in achieving our goal.
What is fluoride? Fluoride is a mineral that is naturally occurring in drinking water in many areas. In these areas, a drastic reduction in dental disease was noted. That is how fluoride, as a treatment modality, was born.
Adult fluoride is also called topical fluoride. Topical fluoride (fluoride that is applied directly to your teeth) works directly on the tooth surfaces most at risk of decay. Adults with gum recession, tooth sensitivity, and existing dental restorations can greatly benefit from this treatment.
Areas on the tooth where the gums have receded is soft, susceptible to decay and can be sensitive. Fluoride incorporates into the outer layer of the tooth and helps to insulate and strengthen the tooth, making it more resistant to decay and much less sensitive. The junction of the tooth and a filling is another area where fluoride incorporates. This junction is the weakest part of the restoration and the place most susceptible to fracture and more decay. Fluoride helps to reinforce those areas and helps prevent decay from sneaking under the filling. This reduces the need for larger fillings, crowns, and root canals.
Adult fluoride is applied as a thin varnish. It is best placed after the teeth have been professionally cleaned. It is NOT like the large trays used during childhood. As an adjunct, a fluoride rinse after brushing at home is also helpful. Fluoride is the easiest and most cost effective preventive measure we have in dentistry and provides many benefits for adults.
There is a lot of great information available about the benefits of fluoride and I would be happy to discuss it at your next visit!
Here are the products that Dr. Spina is recommending for most adults as a supplement to professional fluoride varnish and regular 6 month check-ups.
ACT Fluoride Rinse – http://www.actfluoride.com/
Listerine Rinse – http://www.jjdentalprofessional.com/