Fluoride Treatment (Cavity Prevention) – Salisbury, MD

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Overview

Fluoride's effectiveness in improving oral health has been proven time and time again over decades by numerous research studies. Its use is endorsed and recommended by the American Dental Association (ADA), the World Health Organization (WHO), the American Medical Association (AMA), and several other professional organizations. Research article after research article has found communities which add fluoride to their water supply have fewer problems with cavities and tooth decay. A natural mineral found in the earth, water and some foods, fluoride strengthens both bones and teeth. Allegations that fluoride is carcinogenic or detrimental to overall health have not held up in double blind research studies, the gold standard for research.  Professional fluoride treatments at Smiles! Dentistry by Dr. Joseph Heher in Salisbury, MD can help children with developing teeth and adults with damaged enamels to maintain, and in some instances even restore their oral health regardless if their source of drinking water has fluoride or not (even more if it does). Given that a large geographic area on the Eastern Shore does not have either natural fluoride in the water, or fluoridated municipal water sources, in-office fluoride treatments become even more important to those living in the areas mentioned.  Learn more about professional fluoride treatments during your initial or annual exam with highly trained dentist Dr. Joseph Heher.

Best Candidates

Fluoride treatments can be given to patients of all ages, though it is typically given to younger patients whose teeth are developing or who have not developed good oral hygiene habits. Dr. Heher also recommends fluoride treatments for adult patients who don't have a fluoridated water supply and are prone to cavities. Smiles! Dentistry by Dr. Joseph Heher provides different fluoride formulations for those with specific needs.

What to Expect

Fluoride treatments are generally performed every six months immediately following a dental cleaning. For those undergoing head and neck radiation therapy, or with high decay rates, Dr. Heher constructs fluoride trays to allow for a more even distribution using concentrated fluoride preparations. The trays will be placed in the mouth for several minutes to allow the fluoride time to penetrate the enamel before it can be spit out. For most children, including teenagers, the dental hygienist will paint a fluoride varnish on the teeth. Patients should avoid rinsing, eating, or drinking for at least 30 minutes afterwards to allow the fluoride to penetrate and chemically change the tooth structure to be more resistant to acidic decalcification from foods we eat and drink as well as acidic bacterial biofilms which form on teeth that are not properly cleaned.

Follow-Up

Rarely, upset stomach problems may occur if you swallow any excessive amounts of fluoride (if this occurs, it is usually seen with very young children), but this should diminish in about one day following treatment. While these treatments help strengthen the enamel, you should continue to establish a good home oral care routine including brushing with a fluoridated toothpaste and flossing. Parents should supervise their young children’s application of toothpaste and ensure that they spit it out afterward. Don’t be swayed by the amount of toothpaste placed on a toothbrush by toothpaste commercials--young children only need a pea-sized drop of toothpaste to be effective.  Some children tend to “eat” the toothpaste. Fluoride concentrations in toothpaste are much higher than those in drinking water, so water consumption is not a problem. You should also attend your scheduled professional exams and cleanings at Smiles! Dentistry by Dr. Joseph Heher so Dr. Heher can reassess your need for further treatment.

Insurance Coverage

Most dental insurance companies cover fluoride treatments for patients under a certain age while adults may not be covered. Our staff works to get the most coverage from your dental insurance before determining your out-of-pocket costs. For patients without insurance, Smiles! Dentistry by Dr. Joseph Heher accepts several payment methods and can help you find medical financing if needed.

Fluoride Treatments

Ensure that you and your family have strong, healthy teeth with professional fluoride treatments at Smiles! Dentistry by Dr. Joseph Heher. We suggest fluoride treatments for younger patients with developing teeth and adults who would like to avoid tooth decay. Contact our office in Salisbury, MD to make an appointment for a dental cleaning with a fluoride treatment.

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*Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary from person to person. Images may contain models.