There is a painless way to prevent cavities in adults: brush with fluoride! Fluoride varnish is standard practice for children’s teeth, but many patients are now turning to preventive dentistry well into adulthood.
Many seniors, for example, take medications that cause dry mouth, which greatly increases the risk for cavities. Saliva helps wash away bacteria and food left in the mouth. Fluoride too makes it more difficult for acid-producing bacteria to stick to the teeth.
Fluoride also helps by seeping into the tooth enamel and drawing calcium and phosphate present in the saliva—minerals that keep teeth healthy.