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What is Fluoride Varnish?

Fluorides have been used for many years to help prevent decay.  As children, most of us experienced the rather unpleasant application of fluoride gel applied in trays.  Fluoride varnish offers several advantages over this traditional application of fluoride. Varnish comes in child-friendly flavors and is easily tolerated, especially by infants, toddlers and developmentally disabled children.   It is easy and quick to apply; it is painted onto the teeth much like nail polish is painted onto nails.  It is safe and can be applied to very young children who have a difficult time sitting in the dental chair.

Fluoride varnish provides up to a 38% reduction in children who are at high risk for dental decay.  Some of the factors that put children at high risk are diets high in sugars and other carbohydrates (crackers, chips and cereals), poor oral hygiene and the transmission of decay-causing bacteria from the primary caregiver to their children via their saliva.  The younger a child is when the varnish is applied, the better; in fact it should be applied as soon as the front teeth erupt.  If you would like more information please contact your dental provider.

 

Pediatric Dental Check

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Indian Health Service (HQ) - The Reyes Building, 801 Thompson Avenue, Ste. 400 - Rockville, MD 20852