Healthy gums and teeth are important to your child's overall health. Which is why your child's pediatrician will talk with you regarding good dental habits even before your child's first tooth appears. Once your child has a tooth, your doctor may recommend that your child receives fluoride varnish treatments in the pediatrician's office to help prevent tooth decay. This can be done 2 to 4 times per year. The number of treatments depends on how likely it is that your child may get a cavity. If your child is seeing a dentist at a young age, as recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics, fluoride varnish may be applied in a dental office instead.
What are the benefits of a professionally applied fluoride treatment?
A professional dental fluoride treatment is one of the most effective ways of preventing tooth decay and maintaining excellent dental health in children. Fluoride treatments are both safe and effective. Studies have shown a decrease of cavities in children, by 95%, when combined with dental sealants. Fluoride acts as a shield for the outer enamel layer of the teeth and even has the ability to reverse early dental decay in some cases.
What is a topical fluoride treatment?
A topical fluoride treatment is applied at the dentist office after your child has received a professional cleaning. Usually a fluoride gel or foam is placed in mouth shaped trays (affectionately known as duck trays) and inserted into the child’s mouth for his/her teeth to “soak” in for a few minutes. After a fluoride application treatment, the dentist will suggest your child not eat or drink for at least 30 minutes to allow for optimum absorption. Fluoride can re-mineralize small imperfections in the tooth enamel by attracting calcium to the teeth. It can actually make teeth stronger! Years of research, and use, have proven fluoride to be a safe and effective means of fighting and preventing tooth decay.
What is fluoride varnish and what is it used for?
Fluoride varnish provides extra protection against tooth decay when used in addition to brushing. Fluoride varnish is a pale yellow gel that sets quickly when applied to children’s teeth using a soft brush. The varnish sets quickly, and children enjoy the pleasant taste and a fruity smell. Scientific studies have shown that fluoride varnish gives added protection to teeth against decay when used in addition to brushing teeth regularly with fluoride toothpaste. Your child should be offered fluoride varnish application at least twice yearly from the age of two. You should let us know if fluoride varnish has recently been applied at nursery or school. This allows us to space out your child’s fluoride varnish applications to ensure maximum benefit.
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