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Should I allow fluoride to be applied at my childs' school?

Recently we had a parent as us if we suggested that their child have fluoride applied at the school. The answer is a resounding YES. It is a wonderful service that public health provides free of charge to students when they visit the school. The fluoride that they apply is the most effective type, which is a fluoride varnish. This is the same type that we suggest for children in our office, however when applied as part of a dental visit there is a fee, when applied by public health there is no fee charged. The reason that fluoride varnish is the best is because it is applied as a sticky coating which clings to the teeth throughout the day before drying up and flaking away. This allows for a longer contact time with the tooth which in turn allows it to be more effective. It is true that your child will likely ingest more fluoride with a varnish than other delivery methods. This is not an issue as it is only suggested to be applied once every 6 months. The amount of fluoride ingested is therefore extremely minimal, and the risk is negligible, especially Beamsville and surrounding areas where there is currently no community water fluoridation. If your child has had varnish recently applied at school be sure to let us know so that we can determine if it should be used again at their regular check-up visit. We base this decision on when the varnish was last applied and also their risk for developing cavities.

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