The Many Different Benefits of Fluoride Trays For Mature Patients

The Many Different Benefits of Fluoride Trays For Mature Patients

Posted by Christensen Dental Mar 06, 2023

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Over the last few decades, fluoride has become an important part of dental care. This mineral can easily penetrate the enamel of your teeth and harden them. In addition to strengthening the enamel, fluoride also helps prevent tooth decay and dry mouth. Read on to learn more about fluoride treatment and its benefits, especially for mature patients. 

What Are Fluoride Trays?

Fluoride trays are custom-fitted trays that are filled with a special gel that releases fluoride over time. Patients wear these trays nightly, and each time they do so, they get a dose of this mineral for healthy teeth! These trays offer many benefits to patients who use them regularly. For example, they help with tooth decay prevention and also work to prevent dry mouth.

A dry mouth is a common problem among older adults who produce less saliva as they age. While it’s not a dangerous condition in itself, it can lead to other oral health concerns, like bad breath, gum disease, and more. Providing additional moisture to the mouth with a fluoride tray can help patients avoid these problems. This treatment is also great for cavity protection since it keeps bacteria from clinging to the teeth. A consistent dose of fluoride each night through a tray will reduce the risk of cavities and help keep patients’ smiles healthy, even into old age!

How Fluoride Trays Work

Fluoride trays are a great way to add topical fluoride to your teeth for deep cavity prevention, fortifying your tooth enamel, and fighting tooth decay. The trays are custom-made to fit your mouth exactly, so the medication goes exactly where it’s needed. They’re safe and effective, and most patients find that their gums don’t become irritated by the treatment. In fact, many patients report an improved sense of overall oral health after receiving occasional fluoride trays from a dentist.

Unlike other forms of fluoride treatments, such as varnishes or gels, the trays are easy to use and don’t require a patient to do anything but wear them at night while sleeping. This is beneficial because it allows patients to receive the benefits of fluoride without disrupting their daily schedules with appointments at the dentist’s office.

Patients with dry mouth as a result of medications or certain health conditions can benefit from fluoride trays as well. A dry mouth is a condition that makes it difficult for patients to maintain proper oral hygiene because it can actually irritate your oral tissues and cause burning sensations when you eat or drink. Fortunately, fluoride trays have a neutralizing effect against the effects of dry mouth and can even help with symptoms of bad breath.

Benefits of Fluoride Trays

Fluoride is a wonderful way to prevent tooth decay in adult patients. Patients may not have access to topical fluoride, or they may be experiencing a condition that makes ingesting fluoride difficult, such as xerostomia. In these cases, patients can opt for fluoride tray delivery. These trays can provide fluoride to the teeth’s surface over an extended period of time, which can improve the health of a tooth and prevent future decay. Since they’re made from silicone, they’re also very comfortable and easy to tolerate in the long term. Plus, the trays are disposable, making them a convenient option for a patient with limited dexterity and mobility.

Fluoride And Dry Mouth

Fluoride trays can be very beneficial to patients who are experiencing dry mouth as a result of aging, certain medications, or other medical conditions. Dry mouth is a common side effect of many chemotherapy medications, including cisplatinum, docetaxel, and capecitabine. It is also a common side effect of radiation therapy used to treat head and neck cancers, head/neck cancers, prostate cancer, breast cancer, and some forms of skin cancer. A dry mouth can lead to increased tooth decay, cavities, and other serious oral health issues. Patients who experience dry mouth may also notice a change in taste perception as well as oral irritation.

A fluoride tray helps by providing a source of additional fluoride for patients who may be suffering from the reduced salivary flow. This extra dose of fluoride can help prevent tooth decay and reduce existing decay in adult patients that may be at a higher risk for these complications due to side effects from cancer treatment.

Benefits of Fluoride Trays for Patients Undergoing Cancer Treatment or Radiation Therapy

Radiation therapies can cause patients to suffer from dry mouth, which in turn can lead to tooth decay and gum disease. The dryness in the mouth is irreversible; therefore, it is important for patients to take measures to keep the mouth moist and clean to prevent bacteria from thriving and causing issues. Fluoride trays can help protect the teeth from decay and help make the gums healthier as well.

Cancer treatments can cause the salivary glands to stop producing saliva altogether. Patients may also experience xerostomia as a result of the drugs they are prescribed during treatment. Without sufficient saliva to protect against tooth decay, patients should talk to their dentist about getting fluoride trays to protect their teeth and prevent future cavities.

A dry mouth can also be an issue for patients who are experiencing side effects from chemotherapy treatments. Chemotherapy can directly impact a patient’s salivary glands and cause dry mouth as a result. It can be difficult for the patient to drink enough water to keep their mouths hydrated and protect their teeth. Because of this, many patients find relief in fluoride trays that keep the teeth and gums healthy throughout treatment. Some patients may find that they also experience tooth sensitivity due to the chemotherapy. While it is important not to expose the sensitive areas of the mouth to any substances that could irritate them, fluoride trays are safe to use on all areas of the mouth without causing further irritation.

To learn more, give our office a call at (702) 331-2121 to schedule your next one! We can't wait to see your smile soon and help you enjoy the benefits of visiting the dentist regularly this year!

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