The Importance of Fluoride In Oral Health
A mineral found in certain foods and natural water sources, fluoride helps to strengthen bones and teeth and assist in the fight against tooth decay. The importance of fluoride in protecting and maintaining oral health is supported by the American Dental Association (ADA) and other professional organizations. Communities that add fluoride to drinking water supplies experience fewer problems with cavities (tooth decay) among their residents.
Cavities are the result of decay-causing bacteria and acid on the tooth surfaces. To protect the teeth against decay, our general dentists recommend routine fluoride treatments as a preventive dentistry measure. Fluoride treatments at Advanced Dentistry of Centre County in State College, PA can help younger patients with developing teeth and adults who are at risk for cavities improve their oral health and maintain a comfortable smile. Learn more about the benefits of protecting your family's smiles with professional fluoride treatments by speaking with our knowledgeable team today!
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Ideal Candidates for Fluoride Treatments
Professional fluoride treatments may be administered to patients of all ages, although they are typically given to children (who are at a higher risk of developing tooth decay) and teens who may be struggling with maintaining good oral hygiene habits. Our dentists also recommend professional fluoride treatments for children and adult patients who do not have fluoride in their drinking water or those more susceptible to developing cavities. Patients who have dry mouth (xerostomia) from medications or medical conditions and individuals with exposed root surfaces due to gum recession may also be excellent candidates for an in-office fluoride treatment. During your dental visit, our team will evaluate your family's fluoride needs and let you know if these treatments are recommended for your oral health.
How Is Fluoride Applied?
Professional fluoride treatments are often provided every six months at the end of your dental cleaning visit. As soon as you or your family member select your flavor, our team will prepare your treatment as a gel, foam, rinse, or fluoride varnish. The treatment will be kept on the teeth for 1 – 4 minutes, depending on the application method to allow the fluoride time to absorb into the enamel. We will then use suction to help clear your mouth after the treatment and provide instructions on when you can eat, drink, or rinse following your visit. In many cases, this is generally only a period of about 30 minutes.
After the Treatment
Nausea and vomiting can occur if you or your child accidentally swallow any fluoride; however, this should diminish within 24 hours after the treatment. In certain cases, our dentists may recommend fluoride supplements to take at home. Since fluoride can be toxic when consumed in high doses, adults must be extremely cautious and prevent children from accessing the supplements. Although fluoride treatments help to strengthen the teeth and prevent tooth decay, it is still essential to maintain a regular oral care routine at home by brushing at least twice a day with a fluoridated toothpaste and flossing daily. We also encourage you to schedule professional exams and cleanings at Advanced Dentistry so our dentists can continue to assess your family's need for fluoride treatments.
Insurance Coverage for Fluoride
Many insurance companies cover professional fluoride treatments for children up to a certain age, but adults may not always be covered. We work to help you get the most coverage through your dental insurance before determining any out-of-pocket costs. For patients who do not carry insurance or incur personal expenses, Advanced Dentistry offers an array of easy payment choices to make dental care affordable and convenient.
Cavity prevention for Children and Adults
Help make sure your family enjoys healthy, strong smiles with professional fluoride treatments from Advanced Dentistry of Centre County. Our dentists often recommend professional fluoride treatments to meet the varying needs of patients in all stages of life. To learn more about the benefits of fluoride for adults and children, contact our team in State College, PA and schedule a dental exam with our friendly, caring team!