The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, estimates that more than 40% of children have tooth decay by the age of five. Making cavities the most common infectious disease among American children. Fluoride varnish is a great way to combat the problem at an early age; it has proven to reduce cavities by 67%, and can reverse the possibility of early cavities as well.
When Should Fluoride Varnish be Applied?
We recommend that children get fluoride varnish applied during their well-child check-ups at 9 months, 12 months, 15 months, 18 months, 2 years and 3 years.
Fluoride Varnish Application and Aftercare
The easy application and aftercare of fluoride varnish, makes it a great option for children of all ages. The varnish is painlessly painted on with a small toothbrush (watch this video to see how quick and easy the application is: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zfdcjZ3ht9M). The aftercare is equally as easy. For four hours after the treatment, patients can only consume soft foods and liquids. Also, we recommend that patients do not brush their teeth until the following morning.
Fluoride Varnish Safety
Parents need not be concerned about young children swallowing the fluoride varnish as it is completely non-toxic in small amounts; we only use about ¼ of a milliliter.
Most At-Risk for Tooth Decay
While fluoride varnish is beneficial to everyone, there are certain patients at higher risks of cavities such as: infants, children with special health care needs, and children whose mothers had cavities, especially while pregnant. Additionally, we highly recommend a fluoride varnish application for children on Medicaid, CHIP, or WIC because they are also at a high risk of tooth decay.
Which Insurance Policies Cover Fluoride Varnish?
Most insurance policies cover fluoride varnish, making it affordable. The costs of treatment are as follows:
-All other insurance: $40 per application
Additionally, depending on your dental insurance, you may be able to get fluoride varnish for free at your child’s dentist appointments, starting at the age of one. We definitely recommend looking in to this. Ultimately, we don’t care where you get the varnish applied, as long as it is applied somewhere!
Please note, that getting fluoride varnish at PCRR does not replace regular visits to the dentist. We still recommend children begin seeing a dentist at the age of 1 year old.