No, in most instances, adults with conditions such as exposed root surfaces (which make them more susceptible to decay or sensitivity), periodontal (gum) disease, significant restorative dentistry (veneers, crowns and bridges), or significant decay issues can benefit from fluoride treatments. The University of Michigan Dental School is now advising fluoride treatments in the dental office at hygiene visits for adults with these problems. Home applied topical fluorides (prescription high fluoride toothpastes or rinses) are a very effective alternative. In our office we prescribe 5000 ppm Sodium Fluoride toothpaste both with and without 5% Potassium Nitrate (the active ingredient in Sensodyne toothpaste) to manage tooth and root sensitivity. The brand we prescribe most often is Prevident 5000 Plus by Colgate. For those patients that do not have prescription coverage or have prescription copays greater that $15, we dispense Flouridex toothpaste (another 5000 ppm Fluoride toothpaste by Discus Dental with or without the Potassium Nitrate) for $15 (our approximate cost) to our patients as a convenience. Prevention is always cheaper that treatment, and ultimately the use of topical fluoride in adults saves time and money and reduces sensitivity. It makes good sense to protect your investment in your teeth!
Until next time,
Mark W Langberg, DDS, MAGD