Though dental care should begin as your baby’s first teeth erupt, often babies and young children do not have dental insurance or receive care from a dentist early in their lives.
Our family medicine providers are focused on treating the “whole human” which includes our patients’ mouths! This is why our providers have integrated oral health into our family medicine services to provide oral health assessments to our young patients, guidance on healthy eating and oral hygiene, as well as, fluoride tooth varnishing services for all children from 6 months to 5 years old.
Cavities are the most common chronic childhood disease. 5X more common than asthma.
Cavities are painful and lead to:
- Tooth loss
- Impaired chewing and nutrition
- Difficulty sleeping
- School absences
- Low self-esteem
Oral assessments and fluoride varnishing treatment can be applied during your child’s regularly scheduled well-visits. For routine dental care and when dental issues are identified during an office visit, we can help refer families to established dentists in the area.
Fluoride Varnish Treatments
Fluoride varnish is a dental treatment that is applied as a coating brushed on the surfaces of your child's teeth. Fluoride varnish has been proven to be an effective preventive measure when applied in the pediatric primary care setting. It is effective in:
- Preventing new cavities and stops ones that have started
- Strengthening teeth and reducing decay – on average by 40%!
This treatment is safe & quick to apply, as it only takes 1-2 minutes to apply and the cost of the treatment is covered by most insurances.
Is Fluoride Safe?
- It is quick, easy and safe and it does not hurt
- A very small amount is used and hardens fast. Almost no fluoride is swallowed
- Fluoride varnish is safe to use, even if your child gets fluoride from other sources, such as from drinking water, tooth paste, prescription fluoride, or vitamins
How long does fluoride varnish last?
- It lasts approximately 3 months
- It works best when applied at every well visit
- Fluoride varnish should be reapplied every 3 months
Your doctor cares about your whole child’s health – including their mouth and teeth!
Directions for Your Child's Care Before & After Treatment
Once the sodium fluoride varnish is applied to your child’s teeth, the treatment safely delivers fluoride and a protective coating to the tooth surfaces. To obtain the maximum benefit, please follow these recommendations after application:
- Please come to the office with freshly brushed teeth.
- Do not brush or floss for at least 4-6 hours after treatment.
- If possible, wait until tomorrow morning to resume brushing and flossing.
- Feed a soft food diet for the rest of today.
- Avoid hot drinks and products containing alcohol (eg, beverages, oral rinses, etc) for the rest of today.
Your child will be able to feel the varnish on their teeth. Once brushing or flossing is resumed, the varnish will be removed from the tooth surface over the next several days.