Fluoride Varnishes in Spring Branch & Memorial, Houston, TX
Baby teeth are precious. They need the same attention and care as the permanent teeth. That is why, dental care for milk teeth should start right after a child’s first tooth erupts, both at the dental office and at home. At Lifeworks Dental, one of the ways we prevent your child’s teeth from cavities is through fluoride varnishes. Here’s everything you need to know about dental varnishes.
What are Fluoride Varnishes?
Fluoride varnishes are protective materials which contain fluoride in a concentrated form and are applied in a very thin consistency over the teeth. Fluoride varnishes are pale yellow in color and possess a fruity taste and pleasant smell. As a result, they are easily accepted by children.
Who Can Benefit from Fluoride Varnishes?
Varnishes serve a preventive role. At Lifeworks Dental, we recommend fluoride varnishes for the following problems:
- Prevention of Teeth Cavities in Children – one of the major uses of fluoride varnishes is to prevent teeth cavities in milk teeth. They are especially recommended for children who are at a higher risk of developing cavities.
- High-Risk Adults – varnishes based on fluorides are not just used for pediatric dentistry patients. They are also used for adults who are at a greater risk of developing teeth cavities.
- Individuals with Special Needs – children with disabilities or special needs require special oral hygiene care since they are at a greater risk of developing dental problems. That is why fluoride varnishes are also indicated for people with special needs.
- Orthodontic Treatment – Fluoride varnishes are also indicated for patients who are undergoing orthodontic treatment.
- Elderly Patients – fluoride varnishes are also useful in elderly patients for the prevention of root cavities.
How do Fluoride Varnishes work?
Fluoride gels contain concentrated fluoride ions which are suspended in a solvent like alcohol. Once they are applied on a tooth, they immediately become hard when they come in contact with the saliva. The solvent evaporates, leaving behind a thin layer of the varnish. This thin film now adheres to the tooth and wears away gradually.
How is Fluoride Varnish Applied?
The procedure of application of fluoride varnishes is quite simple and is completed within a few minutes. First, we will clean the teeth by removing plaque and calculus. The teeth are then washed, cleaned and dried. A thin layer of the varnish is applied on each tooth which immediately sets into a hard material. Varnishes can be applied on all teeth, or only a few teeth which are at a higher risk of teeth cavities.
After the application of fluoride varnish, you should take care of the following things:
- Leave Undisturbed – It would be best to leave the varnish undisturbed for as long as possible. This will improve its clinical life.
- Dietary Care – You should wait at least 30 minutes before you eat anything. Otherwise, it could dislodge or damage the varnish coating. Also, you should eat a soft diet for the next 24 hours.
- Teeth Brushing – you should not brush your teeth on the day of fluoride varnish application. However, you can resume the oral hygiene routine from the next day.
How Often Should Fluoride Varnish be applied?
According to the American Dental Association (ADA), fluoride applications twice a year are recommended. However, individuals who are at a greater risk, the frequency of application can be increased up to four times a year. Insurances do not commonly cover this, please ask Drs and Hygienist if this is what you would like to be evaluated.
What are the Benefits of Fluoride Varnishes?
If you’re wondering why we recommend fluoride varnishes to our patients, then here are a few reasons for you:
- Effectiveness – fluoride varnishes are one of the longest-lasting and reliable fluoride sources for the teeth. Fluoride-based varnishes tend to prolong the contact duration between the teeth and fluoride ions, as compared to other fluoride treatments
- Prevention from Teeth Cavities – fluoride ions in the varnishes are very effective in making teeth stronger and more resistant against the development of teeth cavities.
- Ease of Application – fluoride varnishes are very easy to apply and the procedure is complete under 30 minutes.
- Patient Acceptability – fluoride varnishes are easily tolerated by children since they have a fruity taste and a pleasant odor.
Fluoride varnishes are an excellent method to prevent and minimize teeth cavities. If you want your child to have perfect, pearly white teeth, then you should make sure that they get fluoride varnish application at least twice a year. This simple procedure will go a long way in ensuring your child’s dental and physical health. For further information and consultation, please visit our dentists, Dr. Kini Tran and Dr. Kim Nguyen, who are well-known dentists in the Houston Area for their friendly nature and gentle dental treatment.