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Fluoride Treatment for Children

It is important to instill good oral hygiene practices into your child’s daily routine as early as possible! Children should see their pediatric dentist once their first tooth has appeared. As your child ages and their mouth develops, your dentist may determine that they would benefit from fluoride treatments to ensure that their teeth, gums, and jawbone develop as healthy as possible. Most pediatricians have the ability and the tools to apply fluoride to your children’s teeth if they feel that it is necessary and you do not yet have a pediatric dentist.

What is a fluoride varnish treatment?

Fluoride is a natural mineral that can help strengthen tooth enamel. Most children will receive fluoride in the form of fluoride varnish. Fluoride varnish is a topical gel that is painted directly onto the teeth and helps prevent decay. Fluoride can actually help slow or stop current decay, though it is not able to completely prevent cavities, using fluoride regularly is proven to help prevent decay.

There are many oral health care products on the shelves today that contain fluoride. There is a multitude of toothpastes and mouthwashes that can easily be incorporated into your and your child’s oral health care routine.

Is fluoride varnish safe?

Fluoride varnish and other fluoride rinses are safe when used appropriately. Dentists and doctors know the appropriate amount for each patient. Fluoride varnish is applied directly to the teeth and allowed to set, or harden. After about 4 to 6 hours, fluoride varnish can be simply brushed off with your soft bristled toothbrush.

How is fluoride varnish applied to teeth?

Having fluoride varnish applied to your teeth is a simple procedure. Your dental hygienist or maybe even your dentist will brush the varnish on to every surface of each tooth. The varnish cannot be licked off but can easily be brushed off once it has set for the allotted amount of time. The fluoride varnish is sticky while it is being applied but hardens once the mouth is closed and saliva is allowed to react with the varnish.

What do I need to do after fluoride varnish has been applied to my child’s teeth?

There is no reason to restrict food or drink after fluoride varnish treatment. However, it is best to stick to soft foods and not let them have anything too hot while the varnish is in place, for at least 4 to 6 hours.

Your dentist may advise that you skip brushing their teeth until morning if there isn’t time for the varnish to work before they go to bed. You do not need to brush or floss their teeth until the 4 to 6 hours have passed.

Steps to Good Oral Health

  1. It is important to train your child early on to brush and floss regularly.
  2. A healthy diet is important to healthy teeth. It is best to avoid foods that are high in sugar or that are acidic as sugar and acids can break down tooth enamel.
  3. Start dental visits as soon as their first tooth appears. This may sound early but healthy baby teeth will better serve the adult teeth that are below the baby teeth, waiting to come out!

More on Fluoride Treatment : Fluoride Treatment Side Effects

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Iowa Dental Group Des Moines

1233 63rd Street
Des Moines, Ia 50311
(515) 277-6358


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Our Dentists look forward to answering any dentistry related questions or dental concerns you may have regarding your overall oral health and smile.

Iowa Dental Group proudly serves the following areas.

Office Hours
Monday:7:30am - 5:00pm
Tuesday:7:30am - 5:00pm
Wednesday:7:30am - 5:00pm
Thursday:7:30am - 5:00pm
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