Should I Get Fluoride At The Dentist On My Next Visit?

Most adults think of fluoride treatments as useful only for helping children fight tooth decay. Yet, teeth continue to be vulnerable to cavities through adulthood due to diet and oral changes that occur due to aging. Learn the answer to the question, should I get fluoride at the dentist, and find out how it can help prevent tooth decay and maintain healthy teeth for a bright smile.

If you have questions or concerns about fluoride treatments, schedule an appointment with Trident Dental for an oral examination to determine your risk of tooth decay.

The Types of Dental Cavities

A sticky film containing bacteria is constantly forming in your mouth. After you eat, the bacteria convert the sugars in your food into acids that can demineralize or soften the enamel that covers the surface of your teeth. This process can occur on these parts of your teeth:

  • Any smooth surface. The front, back, and sides of most teeth are very smooth. Although you can easily clean these areas with brushing and flossing, the areas between your teeth are especially at risk of plaque accumulation. 

  • Pits and fissures. Tiny holes and grooves are located on the surfaces of your teeth. Plaque tends to get stuck in these areas where tooth decay can occur easily, especially in younger people.

  • Root decay. As you age, your gums are prone to recede and expose the roots of your teeth. Since roots are not covered with enamel, preventing root cavities can be difficult.

Causes of Dental Cavities in Adults

You outgrow many things during childhood. Unfortunately, tooth decay isn’t one of them. Instead, more than nine out of ten adults have at least one cavity in their permanent teeth. In addition, you stay susceptible to cavities throughout your life due to:

  • Constant plaque formation. Plaque forms continuously on our teeth and, if it is not removed, a cavity can form.

  • Gum recession. The two most common causes of receding gums as we age are gum inflammation and toothbrushing with excessive force. The best preventive measures are proper oral hygiene, regular dental checkups, and professional teeth cleanings.

  • Dry mouth. Aging and the side effects of certain medications can cause a condition known as xerostomia or dry mouth. Reduced salivary flow promotes tooth demineralization and tooth decay.

  • Aging dental fillings. Over time, fillings can weaken and lose their protective seal against decay.

As an Adult Should I Get Fluoride at the Dentist?

Fluoride consumed while teeth are still developing during childhood becomes incorporated into the enamel to form a harder substance known as fluorapatite. This strengthens enamel by its enhanced resistance to the effects of acid. Fluoridated water is critical during childhood due to its capacity to directly affect the chemical composition of the outer layer of your teeth.

While fluoride cannot have this effect on completely formed teeth, adults can still receive a significant benefit, known as remineralization, from fluoride applied to the surface of permanent teeth. When a tooth’s surface weakens from demineralized enamel, fluoride can restore the dissolved minerals and make teeth harder and more resistant to further decay. 

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The comprehensive preventive services at Trident Dental can help prevent tooth decay and gum disease for a bright and healthy smile. Contact us to learn more about the question, should I get fluoride at the dentist, the benefits of fluoride and if it is right for you.

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