Dental Tips Blog


The Difference Between Traditional Fluoride Treatments and Fluoride Varnish

Kids may have noticed something different at their regular dental cleanings and checkups. The tart flavored fluoride gel that is usually brushed on our worn in a foam tray for 5 minutes is, in some places, being replaced with a fluoride varnish. Varnish is quicker to apply and reduces the discomfort or possible gag reflex in sensitive patients. It is simply brushed onto the teeth using a very small paintbrush type applicator. Only a small amount of the product is needed for the entire mouth.

Most of all, fluoride varnishes have several benefits over traditional gel fluorides. The contact time of varnish is much greater, increasing the absorption into the tooth. Normal fluoride requires you to not eat or drink for at least 30 minutes after the application, but with varnish you have no such dietary restrictions. All that is needed is to avoid brushing the teeth for at least 6 hours, to allow the fluoride to have continuous uptake through the highly viscous application. One con to fluoride varnish however, is that it is thick and has a slightly yellowish tint, leaving a thin film across the tooth after it has been applied. Some people find this annoying after just having their teeth cleaned, but the benefits greatly outweigh any temporary inconveniences.

Fluoride applications during your routine preventive care appointment can help re-mineralize weakened areas of tooth enamel and decrease your risk of developing tooth decay.  Most of the time, fluoride is only applied on patients up to the age of 14. It’s also effective for for adults and teens that battle tooth sensitivity across their mouth or on specific teeth.

Posted on behalf of Muccioli Dental


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