Experts at Drs. Nicolas ASP shine light on why taking care your children's teeth should not be neglected
1 April 2019| Last updated on 2 April 2019
Everyone wants the best for their children – and that includes best dental health
We all know about tooth decay, and the best ways to avoid it – thorough brushing, a good diet, and regular dental appointments.
But, what if there were a few extra ways to ensure healthy teeth for kids? This is where dental fluoride varnish application comes in.
Why does decay matter for baby teeth?
Many dentists have the same discussion with parents – if baby teeth are lost anyway, does tooth decay matter so much? The answers is – yes. Tooth decay is caused by a build-up of plaque and tartar on the teeth.
If your children are eating lots of sugar or junk food and not brushing their teeth so well (or not at all), then ‘bad’ bacteria get a chance to thrive and produce plaque, which hardens to tartar. This can’t be brushed off and leads to a vicious cycle where teeth are attacked by bacteria and, over time, decay sets in.
If left untreated this leads to pain and even tooth loss. As more teeth grow, this can lead to placement problems later on for your child. All in all, tooth decay is definitely something to be avoided – even for baby teeth!
Is tooth decay really that common?
Believe it or not, tooth decay is the world’s number 1 most common disease in the world, according to the ADA! Even if you think you have a good brushing routine and make sure your child eats and drinks healthily, decay can still creep in.
It’s really important to see a dentist such as at Drs. Nicolas & Asp regularly, and carefully consider any options offering extra protection in the fight against tooth decay.
So what is dental fluoride varnish?
Fluoride is a natural mineral that, in the last century, was discovered to help strengthen teeth and protect them against decay - even reversing early decay in some instances. Dental fluoride varnish is a recently developed product that is painted onto teeth to help strengthen them.
It’s a sticky, pleasant-smelling liquid that dries fast and lasts up to 6 months. It can help fight off decay and has really good success rates. It can be used on adult teeth as well as baby ones, but it’s especially great for younger kids where toothbrushing is still being mastered!
Is it suitable for my child?
Dental fluoride varnish can be used from 3 years and older, and is a short process. It’s applied by a pediatric dentist and takes just a few minutes to dry.
You’ll be advised not to brush teeth that evening, but to go back to your usual twice-daily routine after that. The recommendation is to apply it twice-yearly – so, in your usual dental check-ups.
Is it safe?
In the right dosages, fluoride for teeth is very safe, and its benefits are well-known. Adding a small amount of fluoride to water has transformed the dental health of millions of people all around the world! In places like Dubai where water isn’t fluoridated, adding it to your child’s diet becomes increasingly important.
The only occasions where your dentist might hesitate to offer the varnish is if your child suffers from allergies or asthma. In these cases, your pediatric dentist will decide with you whether the benefits of the fluoride varnish outweigh the risks.
There’s a few additional ways you can help keep teeth healthy. Start brushing teeth as soon as they show through – anywhere from 4 to 8 months of age. Make sure you supervise brushing until they’re around 7 years old.
Don’t rinse with water after brushing – this is a less well-known detail, but it dilutes the positive effects of the fluoride in the toothpaste. Finally start visiting the dentist as soon as milk teeth appear. You can find a range of pediatric dentists at Drs. Nicolas & Asp, a well-known dental clinic in Dubai.
For more information and to book an appointment, please visit Drs. Nicolas and ASP.