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Do Adults Need Fluoride Treatments?

The American Dental Association (ADA) says a whopping 91% of adults have had at least one cavity. That’s a lot. But what’s worse is the fact that 27% of adults have cavities right now that haven’t been treated, putting them at risk for serious infections and tooth loss.

For years, fluoride treatments have been helping kids reduce their risk of developing painful cavities. But what about adults? Can fluoride treatments help them, too? Yes! Here’s what Abir Faraj, DDS, and the team at Novi Family Dentistry want you to know about the benefits of fluoride treatments for every member of your family.

How fluoride protects teeth

Oral bacteria can produce acids. And if these acids remain in your mouth, they can dissolve the hard layer of enamel that protects your teeth. If this occurs in a spot, the resulting hole is called a cavity.

Your teeth have a built-in process designed to protect against acid erosion. It’s called remineralization, and it’s a process that involves replacing damaged areas in a tooth’s surface with strong mineral deposits. The mineral fluoride plays a major role in remineralization. Plus, fluoride also does the following:

You can get fluoride in toothpaste and some mouthwashes. Some water supplies are even treated with fluoride. But, one of the best ways to tap into fluoride’s remineralization activity is to apply it directly to the surfaces of teeth. That’s what happens in a fluoride treatment at Novi Family Dentistry.

Benefits for all ages

Fluoride treatments are especially important for young kids to help ensure that the developing adult teeth are healthy and strong. Fluoride treatments are also recommended for anyone wearing braces and for anyone undergoing radiation treatments to the neck or head.

However, once-a-year fluoride treatments can be beneficial for many others, too, including people with dry mouth, gum disease, or an extensive history of tooth decay. And, if you tend to snack on sugary snacks or foods high in carbohydrates, fluoride treatments can also play an important role in helping you keep cavities at bay. 

Fluoride treatments can be especially effective in preventing decay in the lower parts of the teeth and the tooth roots, conditions that are a lot more common in adults. In fact, the ADA recommends fluoride treatments for patients of all ages who are at risk for developing cavities.

What to expect with fluoride treatments

Dr. Faraj uses a liquid fluoride product or “varnish” to treat adult teeth. The varnish is painted onto the tooth’s surface. An adhesive additive helps the fluoride remain in contact with the surface of the teeth for several hours, helping to remineralize the teeth. 

Application of the fluoride varnish takes just a few minutes. Afterward, you’ll need to avoid eating, drinking, or smoking for about 30 minutes. Dr. Faraj may give you additional instructions as well.

To find out more about fluoride treatments and to see if they can help you, book an appointment online or over the phone with Novi Family Dentistry today.

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