Are fluoride treatments for my kids worth paying for?

I am really good about brushing my kids’ teeth twice a day and I take them to the dentist every six months. Every time we see the pediatric dentist, they put on a fluoride treatment. My insurance has changed and now I have to pay for one of the two treatments a year, which is not cheap when you have four kids. My husband doesn’t think it’s even necessary. We use fluoride toothpaste when we brush and they do get one treatment covered by insurance a year. Should we just refuse the second fluoride treatment a year or should I just pay for it? Thanks, April, West Virginia Dear April, There is a reason why your pediatric dentist recommends a fluoride treatment every time your children have a check-up. Fluoride is an effective way to help protect your children’s teeth against tooth decay and cavities. Enamel is a great defender for each tooth. It’s the hard outer surface that protects the inner layers. Enamel can’t be regenerated when it is damaged. Fortunately, fluoride can help strengthen enamel. Fluoride becomes calcium fluoapatite when it is applied to enamel. With the enamel strengthened, the teeth are able to withstand tooth decay. New teeth, especially those that are just erupting in your child’s mouth, are protected. Brushing with a fluoride toothpaste is a effective practice as it provides a low concentration of fluoride for the teeth. The fluoride in the application the dentist can provide has a much higher concentration and will continue to seep into the surfaces of the tooth for about a month. This can not only help prevent cavities...

How can get rid of marijuana stains on my teeth?

I have a question. I have been a marijuana user for a long time. I’m proud to say I recently quit and am trying to make some changes in my life, kind of a new start. One of those changes includes getting a new job. The problem is I think the pot has made my teeth a funky color. I’m afraid if I go to an interview with my teeth like this, I won’t stand a chance. I have tried the whitening toothpaste, but I don’t think it’s doing anything. Will whitening my teeth at a dentist’s office work quicker on my stains? Gabe, Montreal Dear Gabe, Congratulations on make a great life change. Getting whiter, healthy teeth will be a great step in making those changes. Honestly, the best place to start if you want to get whiter teeth is in your dentist’s chair. Any whitening treatment will be less effective until you have your teeth cleaned. Marijuana use is hard on the mouth. Calculus, which is hardened plaque on your teeth, builds faster with marijuana use. This leads to increased tooth decay and gum disease. If you were to try an at-home whitener from a drug store now, for example, your teeth would end up blotchy because of the build-up. Visit your dentist to have your teeth professionally cleaned before you try any whitening. This step alone may help with some of the staining. Deeper stains in your teeth, whether they are related to the marijuana use or just stains from foods, etc., may be taken care of faster with a whitening treatment at the dentist. When...