What is Fluoride Varnish?
Going to the dentist every 6 months for a dental check-up and a cleaning is a great way to keep your teeth and gums healthy and prevent tooth decay. I'm sure you have been told to wait anywhere between 30 minutes to an hour before you eat anything hard, after you've gotten your teeth cleaned. This is because your dentist or dental hygienist applied a Fluoride treatment on your teeth. One of the most common Fluoride applications we use in the dental field is Fluoride varnish, here is a brief description of what this is.
What is Fluoride Varnish?
Fluoride Varnish contains Fluoride and it is applied onto your teeth after a dental cleaning. The varnish will stick onto your teeth and once it mixes with your saliva it will become hard, it should be left on your teeth for at least 30 minutes to and hour to allow enough time for the Fluoride minerals to "transfer" onto the tooth enamel.
The purpose of Fluoride varnish, as with any other Fluoride treatment is to help prevent tooth decay or stopping it from getting any worse. Although a Fluoride treatment application strengthens the enamel and helps prevent decay, this doesn't mean that your teeth will never get a cavity. Brushing and flossing are still required in order to prevent tooth decay and maintain healthy gums.
It should be noted that Fluoride treatments are typically done on kids, but it may also be recommended on adults if the dentist believes that they may benefit from it. If an adult patient is constantly getting tooth decay or consumes many acidic drinks then its likely that a fluoride treatment will be recommended.
Children's parents typically ask ONE common question regarding Fluoride Varnish.
Is Fluoride Varnish Safe?
The answer to this is yes, Fluoride treatments are safe. Although exposure to higher concentrations of Fluoride can result in Dental Fluorosis and Skeletal Fluorosis, according to WHO (World Health Organization) this is typically a result of long-term exposure(1) to Fluoride. This is usually a consequence of drinking (ingesting) water that contains high concentration of Fluoride. Fluoride varnish is usually only done twice a year and almost none of it ends up being ingested, therefore you should have very little concern about these side effects.
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