Fluoride Treatment for Kids
Good oral health is vital to our overall health. Proper oral hygiene begins much earlier than some may think. Children should begin seeing a dentist as soon as their first tooth appears. Your child’s dentist may advise fluoride treatments to ensure the development of strong, healthy teeth and gums. If your child does not have a dentist, their Pediatrician has the training to apply fluoride to their teeth at their check ups though getting your child acquainted with visiting a dentist regularly will benefit you all in the long run.
What is Fluoride Varnish?
Fluoride varnish is a topical dental treatment aimed at preventing, slowing or even stopping dental decay. Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral that can strengthen tooth enamel. While it cannot completely prevent your child from getting cavities, it is a proven method to help prevent decay when used regularly. Fluoride can be found in toothpaste and mouthwash and can easily be added to your child’s oral care routine along with a tooth healthy diet and regular visits to the dentist.
Is Fluoride Varnish Safe?
Yes! Fluoride varnish is safely used by dentists and doctors to help prevent decay and strengthen teeth. A small amount of varnish is applied to the teeth and allowed to harden. After the recommended time, 4 to 6 hours, the varnish can be brushed off at home.
How is Fluoride Varnish Applied?
Your child’s healthcare provider will coat the sides and biting surface of each tooth with a small brush. The varnish is sticky when being applied but hardens once your child closes their mouth, allowing the saliva to come in contact. The varnish cannot be licked off and will brush off easily after it is allowed to set. The procedure is quick and painless!
Caring for Your Child’s Teeth After Fluoride Varnish Application
Thankfully, your child can eat and drink after fluoride varnish is applied! Stick to soft foods and take care that anything they ingest during this 4 to 6 hour period is either cold or only slightly warm, avoiding hot foods and liquids.
During this time, do not brush or floss their teeth. You may even be advised to skip brushing until the following morning.
Steps to Good Oral Health
- Make sure you train your child early in regular brushing and flossing. Dental hygiene habits are important to instill early!
- Teach your child how to develop a healthy diet. Foods high in sugar and acid do teeth no favors and it is important for them to learn healthy habits all around.
- Start dental visits as soon as their first appears. This may sound early but ensuring the health of your child’s teeth throughout their lifetime starts early.
Establishing a relationship with a pediatric or family dentist by the age of one or upon the eruption of their first tooth, whichever occurs first, is the timeframe recommended by The American Academy of Pediatrics.
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