Should a primary care dentist or a pediatric dentist do fluoride varnish on my kids’ teeth? I took my 2 kids for their annual physical and the doctor did an oral exam for both of them. She suggested that I schedule an appointment for them to get fluoride varnish on their teeth. Neither of the kids have been to the dentist yet. They are 1 ½ and 2 ½ years old. Did I wait too long to take them to a dentist. I’m not going to let a primary care doctor do any dental work. Is this common? Should I take them to a pediatric dentist or can they wait to get fluoride varnish? – Galina
Galina – Both pediatric dentists and pediatricians coat kids’ teeth with fluoride varnish. It’s safe, preventive care to help prevent tooth decay. The entire white surface of teeth is coated with the varnish.
How Pediatric Dentists Apply Fluoride Varnish
- Your kids’ teeth will be cleaned and dried.
- Varnish is painted on the teeth—from the gumline to the top.
- The varnish will harden in a few minutes.
- The varnish needs time to penetrate the teeth, so you’ll wait until the next day before brushing your kids’ teeth.
- Although the outer layer of varnish will brush off, the varnish itself will have penetrated your kids’ teeth and help protect them from cavities.
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that children see a dentist when their first tooth erupts. Tooth eruption allows a pediatric dentist to see if teeth are developing properly. The dentist can also look for signs of disease or improper spacing or eruption. Any problems can be caught early so permanent teeth can be healthy and correctly positioned.
Schedule consultations with two or three pediatric dentists and take your kids with you. It will give you a chance to see the office, meet the staff, and determine if you and your children will be comfortable there.
This post is sponsored by Naperville Dental Specialists, the office of Dr. Anthony LaVacca.