The role of fluoride is especially important for children as it improves the quality of dental enamel in their developing teeth and makes their new teeth more resistant to decay. As part of your child’s program of preventive care, our office frequently recommends the application of fluoride varnish at routine checkup appointments or prescribed intervals of time.
Fluoride varnish is a topically applied product that is brushed onto all sides of your child’s teeth. It is an entirely safe and painless procedure that takes just a couple of minutes from start to finish. Once applied and in contact with your child’s saliva, the fluoride hardens. The fluoride component is now absorbed into the dental enamel and begins its job of strengthening the tooth.
Following the application of the fluoride varnish, your child does not have to wait to eat or drink. The only restriction is that foods are soft and not crunchy for the rest of the day. Brushing and flossing may be postponed for several hours.
While fluoride varnish can help prevent cavities and slow their progression, it is not a guarantee against dental decay. Optimal dental health for your child involves an excellent oral hygiene regimen at home, routine dental care, and eating a healthy diet.
While children are typically considered to have a higher risk of tooth decay, sometimes adults need the extra protection that fluoride provides. In addition to fluoride varnish and other topical formulations, there are also fluoride-containing toothpastes, professional-strength rinses, and over-the-counter products that our office recommends when indicated to help prevent cavities.