As a parent, you strive to help your child develop and maintain a healthy, beautiful smile. You encourage proper oral hygiene habits, promote a well-balanced diet, and take them to their children’s dentist every six months. You feel confident that you have set the right foundation for their dental health. However, you have recently heard a lot of discussion about fluoride varnishes. With the efforts you already have in place, you are not sure if the treatments are necessary. Despite the steps you have taken at home to foster your child’s smile, they should also benefit from the varnishes. They are not just great for protecting your child’s teeth, but the entire family’s as well.
You already know that fluorinated water and toothpaste are excellent choices to help build strong, healthy enamel, but the varnishes are equally as beneficial. With the American Public Health Association reporting that 54% of children currently have untreated cavities, you can help to protect your child’s teeth with the treatment.
Fluoride is known as “nature’s cavity fighter” because it helps to stop, and in some cases reverse, the demineralization of the enamel, which leads to tooth decay. This naturally occurring element has been found to significantly decrease the rate of occurrence of cavities by keeping the enamel strong.
When applied to the teeth, it helps to slow demineralization while also increasing the remineralization process to combat the effects of cavity-causing bacteria. The varnishes contain a high concentration of fluoride, which hardens on the tooth when it comes into contact with saliva. This allows it to remain in contact with the tooth for a much longer time span than when fluoride is received from water or toothpaste; thus, being more effective. When applied to the teeth before the development of tooth decay, studies show that is can reduce as much as 25% of cavities.
The American Dental Association and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that the varnish is applied every six months at preventive appointments. While it is often used on children, you are never too old to benefit from the treatments, especially if you have a moderate to high-risk for tooth decay.
The simple procedure involves no pain or discomfort. The teeth are painted with the varnish, taking about 3 minutes to set. Afterward, it is best to avoid eating or drinking for at least 20 minutes.
In just a few minutes, you and your child can benefit from a safe and effective treatment to ward off tooth decay. With the right oral hygiene habits and preventive care from your dentist, your family will have cavity-free smiles.
NY Smile Creators believes in creating a warm and inviting environment to provide compressive dental care to patients of all ages. The modern practice offers a personal touch to dental services to help patients reach optimal oral health. If you have any questions about fluoride varnishes, please contact NY Smile Creators today to schedule a consultation.