Do you remember growing up and going to the dentist? If so, there was probably on particular part you remember hating: fluoride. That sticky, oozy, foul-tasting gel was a regular occurrence for any child who’s been to the dentist in the past 30 or more years, but for adults it can be a bit different.
A lot of dental insurance plans don’t cover fluoride treatments for adult patients under the assumption that they aren’t that cost effective. Your teeth, it’s assumed, won’t necessarily benefit from regular fluoride but that couldn’t be more untrue.
We’re big fans of fluoride treatments for everyone who we see at New Albany implants because of how effective they can be. If you’ve ever wondered what the One Big Thing in your professional oral care routine was then here’s the answer: it’s fluoride.
Why Fluoride Matters For Everyone
Your teeth are under constant assault, every day of your life, from plaque bacteria. Whenever you eat foods with sugar in them plaque bacteria metabolizes it into acids that erode your teeth, slowly wearing away the enamel until a hole forms. The earliest stages of cavities might not be noticeable, but they’re happening constantly.
Up until recently the practice was to “drill and fill” adult teeth with cavities in them, but modern dental wisdom now says otherwise: we’ll do whatever we can to preserve a natural tooth in its entirety, and that means good preventive care.
What Fluoride Can Do For Your Teeth
When we treat your teeth with fluoride we’re rebuilding the enamel that was lost to plaque acids. It sounds kind of crazy, but yes: fluoride is actually able to rebuild, or “remineralize” your teeth!
Fluoride gets into the enamel pores on your teeth and attracts calcium and phosphate that’s present in your saliva. Once those bond to your teeth they actually rebuild the enamel bit by bit, actually making your teeth stronger than they were before. Regular fluoride treatment can undo and prevent a lot of the damage that plaque bacteria causes.
There’s also the possibility that fluoride has a hand in fighting oral bacteria directly too. A recent study found that fluoride treatment made it harder for oral bacteria to stick to your teeth, which in turn means that less of it is present in your mouth to do damage when you eat!
Why Preventive Dentistry?
There are a lot of people out there who don’t see the dentist on a regular basis, and there’s no two ways about it: they tend to have oral health problems. Even those who do come to see us for regular cleanings and exams can still have issues, now imagine never being seen at all!
When you come to New Albany Implants for regular dental care we’re able to address problems sooner, care for your teeth more regularly, and provide fluoride treatments that prevent the formation of cavities. All of those treatments combine to give you a good prescription for oral health that should last for life!
What You Can Do At Home
For patients that are particularly cavity prone we can prescribe fluoride treatments for home, such as fluoride toothpaste and other products. Using these at home can really make a difference, but there’s one catch: you need to be seeing us regularly for us to even know there’s a problem in the first place.
To keep yourself safe we recommend using a fluoride toothpaste and any other fluoride product you may want. It’s also important to take advantage of water fluoridation in your community – don’t go out and buy bottled water when the stuff that’s coming out of your tap might help fight cavities!
City water fluoridation has been overwhelmingly successful when implemented in cities around the country, and even a brief removal creates noticeable effects on the oral health of the community. If you have a city water system that provides fluoridation it can make a huge difference on you and your family’s oral health practice!
Stay Safe With Regular Care
Fluoride can do a lot to keep your teeth healthy, but it can’t do enough by itself. Make sure you’re getting regular dental checkups at our New Albany dentist office. That’s the only way to truly be sure you have a clean bill of dental health.