Dental cavities are the leading dental disease found in adults and children worldwide. To prevent dental cavities in children, dental health experts — your kids’ dentist in Herriman included — often use fluoride. Children ages six months to 3 ½ years old can already benefit from fluoride treatments.
Here’s more info on fluoride varnishing to help enlighten parents on the procedure.
What does fluoride do to your kid’s teeth?
Fluoride works by protecting the teeth. As children eat, their mouth becomes prone to certain bacteria. These can create certain acids that attack the hard and outer shell of the teeth known as the enamel. This leads to what is known as dental cavities.
Fluoride protects the enamel of the teeth by making it stronger and resistant to acid and bacteria found in the oral cavities. Fluoride can be found in drinking water, toothpaste, as well as food and drinks. A nutritious diet that includes Vitamin D and Calcium, can help keep your child’s teeth healthy and free from cavities.
Depending on your child’s age and his oral health, your dentist may suggest giving him fluoride treatment. Fluoride varnish reduces tooth decay and helps curb the growth of cavities in children when applied at least two times a year.
How does fluoride varnish help?
Fluoride varnish affords added protection against tooth decay and bacteria when used in conjunction with regular brushing. The fluoride varnish consists of a yellow-colored gel that sets almost immediately when applied on the teeth with a very soft brush.
It comes with a mildly fruity smell to make it more appealing to kids. A child must be given fluoride varnish twice a year starting from the age of two. The procedure must be done at a dental clinic and under the hands of a trained professional.
A fluoride varnishing procedure is affordable, quick to apply, and absolutely painless. It is a valuable tool so dentists can prevent tooth decay from developing at an early age. Varnishing is preferred rather than treating tooth decay, and cavities are given that it is difficult for children to sit still during treatment.
In worst case scenarios, children who need dental fillings need to be sedated to make sure they are immobilized. This is an expensive and riskier approach than preventing oral health problems in the first place. Fluoride varnishing is not for everyone, though.
Children who have a medical history of allergies, or have a prior medical condition such as asthma or respiratory allergies are not advised to undergo this procedure. If your child is one of them, you need to obtain an initial risk assessment before you have their teeth varnished with fluoride.
How can I care for my child’s teeth post-varnish?
The Fluoride varnish must be kept on your child’s teeth for the entire day and night for maximum benefit. Brushing and flossing are not encouraged for the next four to six hours.
However, he can eat and drink even after the varnish has been applied. Dentists suggest giving the child only soft and warm or cold food and beverages.
The fluoride varnishing procedure may be repeated as many as four times in a year for best results.