Everything You Need to Know About Fluoride Treatments

A married couple regularly scheduled dentist visits. For a few years, the husband teased the wife that he had no cavities. She had received one filling when she was 10.

Fast forward—the husband returns from the dentist one day, rather glum. His most recent visit unveiled six cavities that all needed fillings. In addition, the dentist said the husband should start rinsing daily with mouthwash that included fluoride to avoid future cavities. (No need to share what the wife said…)

The morale of the story? Fluoride treatments aren’t just for kids! Everyone can benefit from using fluoride, especially adults who are susceptible to cavities.

Do I Still Need Fluoride as an Adult?

Whether 7, 17, or 47 you can benefit from fluoride treatments. Fluoride is an excellent way to repair your teeth from the early stages of tooth decay.

Although adults don’t need fluoride treatments, it is a helpful way to prevent cavities. Topical fluoride treatments include at-home toothpaste or mouthwash with fluoride as well as varnishes applied by your dentist. Systemic treatments are swallowed, for example, through treated water or a supplement.

According to the American Dental Association, in-office dental treatments protect the oral health of children and adults, especially those who have poor oral hygiene, high levels of bacteria in the mouth, exposed roots, issues with enamel, early cavities, and more.

Fluoride treatments are not typically covered by insurance for adults, but they are reasonably priced between $20 to $50. Contact our office today and schedule an appointment to see if fluoride treatments make sense for you!

 

What To Do After Getting a Topical Fluoride Treatment

Great! You’ve decided to get a fluoride treatment from your dentist. Once the topical treatment is applied, it’s important to avoid eating or drinking for at least 30 minutes. This allows the fluoride treatment to be absorbed by your teeth and appropriately do its job of repairing any damage.

Ask your dentist their professional opinion on when to return for a follow-up treatment. Depending on your overall oral health, the dentist might suggest 3, 6, or 12 months. You also might be asked to return for secondary treatment.

 

Note that if you choose to do an at-home fluoride treatment, the instructions might require you to avoid eating and drinking for a longer period of time.

Potential Side Effects of Fluoride Treatments

Fluoride is a natural mineral found in all water sources. Consuming a regular amount of fluoride is perfectly safe. However, too much of a good thing might lead to side effects.

Taking too much fluoride can lead to:

  • White specks on your teeth
  • Dense, yet weak bones
  • Staining and pitting on teeth
  • Acute toxicity (overdosing on fluoride)
    • Nausea
    • Tiredness
    • Excessive sweating
    • Diarrhea

Fluoride used by your dentist for professional treatments is stronger than other forms. Only take what your dentist prescribes. If you have toothpaste or mouthwash with added fluoride at home, pay attention to the volume you use.

A great way to eliminate the possibility of too much fluoride is to schedule a fluoride varnish treatment by a dental professional.

Fluoride: A Safe Way to Improve Oral Health

Fluoride is a great way to improve your oral health. By using the right amount, it is safe and effective for both children and adults. Most people will never experience side effects from fluoride treatments or use. Ask if a fluoride treatment is the right choice for you during your next visit! Schedule an appointment with us today to get a fluoride treatment.

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