In November 2016, voters in Kennebunk, Kennebunkport, and Wells Water District decided to stop adding fluoride to their drinking water. While this is an important step in our community’s health, fluoride still plays a major role in protecting teeth and preventing tooth decay. If you would like your child to still receive fluoride treatments, Kennebunk Center for Dentistry offers fluoride varnish. This quick, easy, and effective treatment will provide your child with an added protection for several months. For those who need fluoride in Kennebunk, Maine, Dr. Sara Sheikh recommends receiving this treatment at least in your biannual checkups, if not about every 3 months. We invite you to contact us today at 207-985-7944 if you would like to know more about fluoride varnish, and to schedule your appointment with our dentist.

Fluoride varnish is a topical resin that is applied to a child’s teeth and adds protection against tooth decay. When children are receiving their primary and permanent teeth, they can be more susceptible to cavities and tooth decay. Daily brushing and flossing will do a lot to keep your child’s mouth healthy, but there are some instances when your child may need additional protection. Fluoride varnish can help prevent cavities from starting, or slow down or halt tooth decay that has already begun.

Applying fluoride varnish is a quick, easy, and painless procedure. It is only applied in-office by a member of our dental team. Our dentist will simply place a dab of fluoride resin on a small, soft brush and apply it directly to your child’s teeth. The resin hardens quickly and will remain on your child’s teeth for several hours. Because fluoride varnish hardens and does not come off with saliva, you do not need to worry about your child licking the varnish off and ingesting too much fluoride. Depending on the brand of varnish, it may leave a slightly yellow or dull finish over your child’s teeth. This is, however, nothing to worry about, as it will disappear when the varnish is brushed off. Once the varnish is applied, our dentist will direct you to know how long it should remain on your child’s teeth. In some cases, it can be from 4-6 hours; in others, our dentist may recommend leaving it on overnight. If you are instructed to leave the varnish on overnight, do not brush or floss your child’s teeth that night, as that will cause the varnish to come off. Your child is still free to eat and drink during the rest of the day, but foods should be soft, and hot foods or liquids should be avoided; otherwise, the varnish can come off.

Fluoride varnish will not be applied if your child has an open sore inside their mouth. In most cases, fluoride varnish will also not be applied if your child has allergies, particularly to pine nuts, or if they have been previously hospitalized for an allergic reaction or asthma. Please inform our dentist about your child’s medical history, and we will conduct a full risk assessment to determine if fluoride varnish is appropriate and safe for your child. If you have any questions about fluoride varnish, please feel free to call or visit our office today. Our dentist and team members are always happy to help.