What is fluoride varnish?
Fluoride varnish is a topical fluoride treatment. It is placed on all surfaces of teeth, including the front, back, chewing surfaces, and between the teeth. It is brushed on the teeth with a small brush, and is as simple as putting nail polish on your fingernails. It takes less than 5 minutes to apply to the teeth.
Is fluoride varnish safe?
Fluoride varnish is very safe. It is considered noninvasive procedure. That means it is not put into the body. Fluoride varnish dries immediately and is not absorbed into the body.
How does it help my child's teeth to apply fluoride varnish?
Fluoride strengthens the healthy enamel or surface of teeth. It also re-mineralizes sick enamel. It can strengthen teeth that have already become weakened and will reverse early damage that may have started on the teeth.
How often can my child have fluoride varnish?
Your child can have fluoride varnish applied four times per year. Every three months is ideal. An extra application is not harmful to your child. However, not enough fluoride can lead to cavities and tooth decay.
How old does my child have to be to have fluoride varnish?
Your child should have fluoride varnish as soon as the first tooth erupts and every three months after that. This recommendation come from the American Dental Association (ADA), the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), and the American Academy of Family Medicine (AAFP).
Why is it bad to give a child milk, formula, or juice in a bottle at bedtime?
Milk, formula, juice and soda pop have sugar in them and the sugar bathes the child's teeth all night. Sugar combines with germs on the teeth and causes cavities and tooth decay. Some juices and most soda pops also contain acid which is very hard on the enamel of teeth. If the child must take a bottle to bed or nap put only water in the bottle and don't add sugar or other flavoring to the water to make it sweeter.
More Resources for Parents
- Prenatal & Postpartum Care
- Feeding Your Baby
- Childproofing, First Aid, and Safety
- Dental Care
- Well-care for Babies and Children
- Caffeine and Substance Use Pre & Post Pregnancy
- More Resources and Numbers
- RideConnect Transportation
- 24/7 Nurse Advice Phone Service
- Tobacco Cessation
- Dental Appointments
- Community Care Connectors
Documents to download
Embracing Life Guide (pdf)
Baby's First Year Calendar (pdf)
Pregnancy Brochure (pdf-English) (pdf-Spanish) (pdf-Somali)
Minnesota Child & Teen Checkups (C&TC) Schedule (pdf)