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Healthy Mouth, Healthy Kids

Protecting Your Child's Teeth: Fluoride Varnishes & Dental Sealants

What are Fluoride Varnishes and Dental Sealants?
 

Fluoride varnishes and dental sealants are two ways to protect your child’s teeth from cavities.. They are very important to keep your child’s mouth healthy and their teeth strong!

Fluoride Varnishes

 

Fluoride is a mineral that helps keep the teeth strong and healthy. When your child visits the dentist, he will put a fluoride varnish on your child’s teeth. A varnish is a liquid that has a lot of fluoride in it. The fluoride varnish will soak into your child’s teeth and help make them strong and prevent cavities. After the fluoride absorbs into your child’s teeth, any left over varnish will come off a few hours later when your child eats food or brushes their teeth.   

 

Dental Sealants
 

 

Some of your child’s teeth, especially the molars that will come in around 6 and 12 years of age, have tiny grooves that are completely normal. These grooves can trap tiny pieces of food and make it hard to keep your child’s teeth completely clean.  Sealants are plastic coatings that are applied to the teeth to block food from entering the grooves. Sealants can help greatly in preventing cavities and tooth decay. Sealants are quick and easy to apply and the procedure is painless. It is also cost-affordable and most insurances will cover the cost. Most dentists will want to apply sealants to your child’s teeth after they get their molars at around 6 and 12 years of age. If your child’s dentist does not apply sealants and you would like this procedure done, talk to your child’s dentist at their regular appointment.

 

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Last Reviewed: Nov 11, 2015


Professor of Pediatric Dentistry
School of Dental Medicine
Case Western Reserve University