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Fluoride varnish side effects: What you need to know

fluoride varnish side effects

The title of this article may be confusing you at the moment. Can you have any fluoride varnish side effects? Through dental and medical experiments, we think of fluoride as a mineral that protects and maintains our teeth, so how can it actually affect it in a damaging way? Let us discover fluoride benefits, its procedures, as well as the fluoride varnish side effects.

Fluoride’s effects on dental health

Fluoride is a mineral that helps the body to build stronger teeth and prevent caries and tooth decay. It has been an important ingredient in dental treatments and routines for decades. Fluoride molecules support the tooth surface or enamel to fight off the bacteria that damage teeth and gums.

Fluoride is particularly useful if you have a tendency to have a high risk of getting a dental plaque, cavities, and caries that may lead to tooth decay if left untreated and unaddressed. We all know that tooth decay starts when bacteria left on the surface of the teeth damages it and forms plaques which then produce harmful acids that further damage the teeth and gums. If not halted, the spread of the decay may reach the pulp or the innermost part of the teeth, spreading the infection to other parts of the mouth and developing further medical complications.

Fluoride varnish procedure and cost

There are many types of fluoride procedures and applications that your dentist may recommend for you. It can be through a fluoride rinse, dental foam, gel application, or varnish. The fluoride treatment uses a mixture that is more concentrated than your fluoridated toothpaste, so its usage should always be supervised by a dentist or a dental professional. The fluoride varnish treatment just entails the dentist to apply the fluoride mixture onto the teeth and allow the patient to absorb it by not eating for at least 30 minutes after the procedure.

The good news is most fluoride applications for kids are covered by the CDBS or Child Dental Benefits Schedule. They are the ones who can really benefit from this preventative dental procedure because their teeth are still developing and have yet to be fully exposed to harmful bacteria because of their young age. However, if adults would like to avail of this procedure, the estimated cost of fluoride varnish application ranges from $10 to $50. This procedure may be repeated depending on your dentist’s recommendation, like every 3, 6, or 12 months.

dental fluorosis

What are fluoride varnish side effects?

With all the benefits we have mentioned earlier, could you think of any fluoride varnish side effects? Well, unfortunately, all dental procedures, no matter how beneficial to a person’s health, can have a side effect. Fluoride varnish is not an exemption.

An overdose of overuse of fluoride is not advantageous to the teeth and overall health of a patient. It is then recommended that fluoride applications should be done under the supervision of a dental professional to avoid any complication. Fluoride overdose can cause fluorosis, a dental condition characterized by the development of white spots on the permanent teeth, even before they erupt. Staining of teeth is very common especially if fluoride is also being consumed from drinking fluoridated water. It can also cause having dense bone structure because of too much fluoride in the body.