Fluoride VarnishCape Girardeau, MO
Brushing and flossing can help prevent tooth decay. But even with proper oral hygiene, some children may develop cavities. If left untreated, tooth decay can lead to dental pain and loose teeth. In some cases, children may even experience tooth loss. Fortunately, preventive care can help. Fluoride varnish reduces your child's risk of cavities by strengthening tooth enamel.
Fluoride varnish is available at Jayne F. Scherrman JS Pediatric Dentistry in Cape Girardeau and the surrounding area. Our team helps children of all ages defend against tooth decay. We offer a range of services designed to reduce your child's risk of cavities. Call us at (573) 271-3062 to learn more.
Benefits of Professional Fluoride Varnish
Fluoride plays an important role in cavity prevention. Additionally, brushing and flossing are not always enough. Some children may have a genetic tendency toward weak enamel. These children are at high risk for cavities, even with good dental hygiene. Fluoride helps to protect their teeth against decay.
Tooth decay is linked to certain types of mouth bacteria. These bacteria feed off sugar and carbohydrates. As they break down sugars, they produce an acid that damages tooth enamel. Damaged enamel often leads to cavities, infections, and other dental troubles.
Fluoride strengthens enamel and slows bacterial growth. It may even help to slow or reverse existing decay. Dentists can also provide fluoride-based treatments. During routine checkups and cleanings, the dentist may apply a fluoride gel. This professional-grade treatment can help reduce a child's risk of cavities.
“Fluoride plays an important role in cavity prevention.”
The Treatment Process
During treatment, the dentist applies fluoride varnish directly to the teeth. Using a small brush, the dentist “paints” the sticky substance onto each tooth. This process takes just a few minutes.
Once applied, the fluoride hardens as it comes into contact with saliva. The child swallows very little fluoride during the treatment process. They will not be able to lick or wipe the varnish away. The rapid set time makes fluoride varnish a lasting solution, even for young children.
“The rapid set time makes fluoride varnish a lasting solution, even for young children.”
Types of Fluoride Varnish
Several fluoride varnish products are currently on the market. Each product has a different formulation of minerals and serves a specific purpose. A dental provider can determine which type of varnish is suitable for each child. The dentist will consider the child's age, dental history, and lifestyle. They will also determine which varnish works with the child's braces or other dental appliances.
“A dental provider can determine which type of varnish is suitable for each child.”
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The Research on Fluoride Varnish
Fluoride has been commonly used in dentistry for over 70 years. Researchers have studied the safety and efficacy of fluoride for decades. Children who receive fluoride treatments have a lower risk of cavities. Research even supports the use of fluoride in municipal water supplies.
It is possible to use too much fluoride. But this problem generally occurs due to improper use of at-home products. A trained dentist uses only appropriate measures of professional-grade treatments. The dental team makes sure that a safe dose is administered to each patient.
Fluoride has few side effects. It may cause the teeth to become temporarily dull or yellowish. However, these side effects do not last long. The child's teeth should regain their normal appearance within 24 hours.
“Children who receive fluoride treatments have a lower risk of cavities.”
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After a Fluoride Varnish Treatment
A treated child might be instructed to avoid food or drinks for 30 minutes after the procedure. After half an hour, patients can usually resume their normal diet. The dental team may suggest waiting a full day before eating hot, sticky, or crunchy foods. The provider might also recommend waiting four to 12 hours before brushing the teeth. Patients who follow these instructions enjoy improved treatment results.
“Your child might be instructed to avoid food or drinks for 30 minutes after the procedure.”
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. What is fluoride?
A. Fluoride is a mineral that helps to fight tooth decay. It supports healthy tooth enamel and lowers children's lifetime risk of cavities. Parents can use at-home fluoride products, including toothpaste and mouthwashes. Pediatric dentists can also perform professional fluoride treatments in the office.
Q. Is fluoride safe?
A. Fluoride has been used in dentistry for more than 60 years. Studies have shown that fluoride is safe and effective for most patients. If you have concerns about fluoride treatments, your pediatric dentist can provide more information.
Q. How often should my child receive fluoride varnish?
A. Treatment plans can vary. The dentist may perform fluoride treatments during each checkup and cleaning. Children who are prone to cavities might need treatments every few months.
Children who have no risk factors for tooth decay might not need fluoride varnish. Your dentist can provide a personalized recommendation based on your child's dental history.
Q. What are some dental benefits of fluoride varnish?
A. Fluoride supports and protects your child's tooth enamel. Professional treatments are more powerful than over-the-counter fluoride toothpaste or mouthwashes. The varnish is designed to harden quickly, even in the presence of saliva. The quick-drying time helps ensure the product is not washed away.
Q. What other fluoride products should I consider?
A. Children may benefit from using fluoride-based toothpaste. Your dentist can recommend other fluoride products to use at home. Be sure to let your pediatric dentist know all the products your child uses during each checkup.
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By visiting us as soon as possible, our team can help get you the professional treatment you need. Instead of waiting around and allowing the symptoms to get worse, we can provide you with treatment options.
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Fluoride varnish offers many benefits for growing children. The treatment protects against painful tooth problems like cavities. Over time, fluoride can also reduce your child's risk for severe decay. Fluoride varnishes take only a few minutes to apply. But they can save you a lot of time and trouble down the road.
If you would like to reduce your child's risk of cavities, let Jayne F. Scherrman JS Pediatric Dentistry in Cape Girardeau help. Call us at 573-271-3062 to learn more about our services.
If you live in the Cape Girardeau area, call 573-271-3062 for an appointment in our Cape Girardeau office.
Helpful Related Links
- American Dental Association (ADA). Glossary of Dental Terms. 2021
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