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Many of our patients ask us if fluoride treatments are necessary to maintain a healthy mouth. The answer is that it depends. If you are at an increased risk for tooth decay, fluoride can help you prevent cavities from forming in the first place. However, if you have healthy teeth and gums, you may not notice much of a difference after a professional fluoride treatment.

In this blog post, our dentists at Lake Michigan Dental will go over the ways fluoride can improve dental health so you can make an informed decision for your smile. For more information, we recommend asking your family dentist about fluoride treatments at your next appointment.

Generally, insurance companies will only cover fluoride treatments once per year. As a courtesy to our patients, our Grand Rapids dentist at Lake Michigan Dental provides every child’s second treatment of fluoride at no additional charge if it is not covered under their insurance.

1. Prevents Childhood Cavities

Most insurance companies will cover fluoride treatments up to age 14. This is because children are at an increased risk for tooth decay. Did you know that cavities are the number one chronic childhood illness in the United States? For this reason, your child’s pediatric dentist may recommend fluoride treatments to strengthen emerging teeth and protect them from dental plaque and bacteria.

2. Prevents Root Decay in Adults

Fluoride is so widely recognized for strengthening teeth that most public water supplies are treated with fluoride. Fluoride is also a common ingredient in toothpastes and mouthwashes. Since we get fluoride from many different sources, it can be difficult for adults to determine whether or not fluoride treatments would be beneficial. Thankfully, this is a question that can be answered by your dentist.

Fluoride treatments for adults can ward off tooth decay and even root decay. As we get older, it’s not uncommon for our tooth roots to weaken and become more vulnerable to oral infection. Other factors, such as receding gums and gum disease can also expose more of the tooth and tooth roots to bacteria. Topical fluoride treatments at the dentist’s office can strengthen adult teeth so you can enjoy a beautiful healthy smile.

3. Restores Minerals in Tooth Enamel

The human mouth is full of bacteria. Unfortunately, this also means that dental plaque and bacteria is constantly attacking tooth enamel. Patients who have received fluoride treatments at the dentist’s office are more likely to have strong teeth resistant against cavities.

4. Maintains Healthy Fluoride Levels

Depending on your medical history, you may need extra help maintaining healthy fluoride levels through topical fluoride application. For example, fluoride varnish can help your teeth if you suffer from dry mouth or receding gum lines.

We understand that not all our adult patients may want to pay for fluoride treatments out of pocket if not covered by insurance. If this is the case, there are other ways to increase your fluoride intake. For example, look for mouth rinses or toothpastes that contain fluoride. Also, keep in mind that the Grand Rapids water supply has been fluoridated for over 70 years, with fewer resulting cavities in the population.

Lake Michigan Dental is a Grand Rapids family dentist dedicated to helping patients achieve their best smiles. If you are interested in learning more about our professional fluoride treatments or are interested in scheduling a professional teeth cleaning, call our dentists in Grand Rapids, MI at (616) 364-8716.