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Teeth are protected with fluoride keeping teeth and gums healthy

Tooth decay is a common problem that affects people of all ages. It occurs when bacteria in the mouth produce acid that erodes tooth enamel, leading to cavities. 57% of children aged 12-19 and 90% of adults aged 20 or older have at least one cavity.

Preventing tooth decay is essential for maintaining good oral health, and fluoride varnish is a quick, simple, and effective treatment. Understanding the benefits of fluoride varnish can help you make informed decisions about your oral health and protect your teeth against decay.

What is Fluoride Varnish?

Fluoride is a mineral naturally present in water and many foods, and it is effective in strengthening tooth enamel and preventing tooth decay.

Fluoride varnish is a quick and easy treatment that your dentist can apply in just a few minutes to the surface of your teeth using a small brush or applicator. It is typically used during a routine dental check-up and can be reapplied every three to six months.

Once applied, it dries on contact with saliva, and you can feel the varnish on your teeth. For the best results, eat a soft and non-abrasive diet, and drink only cold beverages for at least six hours following the application. Avoid brushing, flossing, or using mouthwash until the following morning.

What Does Fluoride Varnish Do?

When applied to the surface of the teeth, fluoride varnish forms a protective barrier that prevents the buildup of plaque and bacteria. This barrier also helps to remineralize and strengthen the enamel, making it more resistant to decay.

Fluoride varnish can also alleviate tooth sensitivity by reducing the amount of exposed dentin. When the enamel on a tooth is damaged, the underlying dentin becomes exposed, causing the tooth to become sensitive to hot, cold, or sweet foods and drinks.

Who Needs Fluoride Varnish?

Fluoride varnish is a treatment that is commonly recommended for people who are at a high risk of developing cavities. This includes:

  • Children: Children are particularly susceptible to tooth decay, and fluoride varnish can effectively prevent cavities in primary and permanent teeth.
  • Adults with a history of cavities: Adults with a history of cavities or poor oral hygiene may also benefit from fluoride varnish to prevent future cavities.
  • People with a high-sugar diet: Individuals who consume a lot of sugary foods and drinks are at a higher risk of developing cavities.
  • People with dry mouth: Saliva is essential for washing away bacteria and neutralizing acid in the mouth. People with dry mouth (xerostomia) have a higher risk of cavities because their mouth is less able to cleanse itself.
  • Individuals who have difficulty brushing and flossing: People with physical or cognitive difficulties that make it hard to brush and floss their teeth may benefit from fluoride varnish to protect their teeth.

Ask Your Dentist if Fluoride Varnish is Right for Your Oral Health

At Steger Smiles, our team of experienced dentists can help you determine if fluoride varnish is the right preventative treatment for you. Contact us today at (708) 754-8090 to schedule an appointment and take the first step toward maintaining a healthy and beautiful smile.

Be proud of your smile.