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South River Pediatrics

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Fluoride Varnish

Benefits of Fluoride Varnish

Dental cavities are the most common chronic disease in children. Cavities are five times more common than asthma and seven times more common than seasonal allergies!

Dental cavities are tooth decay caused by bacteria. Unfortunately, bacteria and sugar (as well as salt) work together over time to cause the decay/cavity.  

With that being said, dental cavities are absolutely preventable! That is why dentists and pediatricians are working together to manage children's oral health. It is now the standard of care for oral health assessments and management to also be provided in the non-dental medical setting. Preventative health visits, also known as well-checks, offer a great opportunity for us to assess and manage your child's oral health since the children are seen every 3-6 months in the first few years of life. 

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that fluoride varnish be applied every 3-6 months starting after 6 months of age. Fluoride varnish has been determined to be one of the most effective ways to prevent dental cavities in children. What does it do? Glad you asked! It helps replenish the tooth enamel and helps protect the teeth from bacteria and acid that cause the tooth enamel to break down. 

At South River Pediatrics, we offer fluoride varnish to children from 9 months through 3 years old at each well check visit. We also recommend that children establish care with a pediatric dentist between 1-2 years old. 


Summary: Dental cavities, or tooth decay, are the most common chronic disease in children. Application of fluoride varnish is the most effective way to prevent dental cavities and should be completed every 3-6 months for young children.