A well-child checkup can also prevent cavities

Brushing twice a day with fluoride toothpaste, flossing, and regular visits to the dentist are the key to good dental health.  But did you know your child's medical provider can help fight cavities too?

Medical professionals can also apply fluoride varnish to your child's teeth. It's quick, painless, and prevents cavities by making your child's teeth stronger.

It’s a great way to boost oral health during your child’s next health checkup, and it’s covered by Medicaid and many commercial dental plans.

How is fluoride varnish applied?

Fluoride varnish is a liquid that is wiped onto the tooth. Only a small amount is needed, and it takes only a few moments to apply it. Plus, it comes in a variety of kid-friendly flavors like bubble gum, caramel, and fruit flavors!

Who can apply the fluoride varnish?

Fluoride varnish is applied by the staff at a dentist's office as part of routine preventive care.

It can also be applied by a doctor, physician's assistant, certified nurse practitioner, nurse, or medical assistant.

At Delta Dental of South Dakota, we encourage the practice by more medical professionals through our Partners For Prevention program that trains health care professionals and students on its use.

What is fluoride varnish?

The active ingredient - fluoride - is the same that is in toothpaste, but prescription strength.

Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral that makes tooth enamel stronger, which prevents tooth decay.

Is fluoride varnish safe?

Yes. It is widely used in dentistry to prevent cavities, and it can be used as early as your baby’s first tooth.

Fluoride varnish should be applied at least two times a year to be effective. It can be applied up to four times a year, especially for those with a high risk of tooth decay.

Why is it important, even for young children?

Healthy teeth help children chew, speak and smile. Tooth decay can make it difficult for young children to perform these functions well.

If cavities in children go untreated, they can cause pain, infections, and problems learning.

The good news is that cavities are nearly 100% preventable. That’s why it’s important to ask about fluoride varnish, whether it’s at a well-child visit with their primary care provider, a WIC appointment, or a visit to the dentist – even their first one by age 1.