“I have a question about fluoride varnishing on toddlers’ teeth: What would be the alternative treatment?”
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Fluoride varnish is a highly-concentrated form of fluoride, typically composed of 5% sodium fluoride. It is applied to the tooth’s surface after cleaning and lasts up to four hours.
The problem with fluoride is not the mineral’s contact with your teeth, but the coating serving as a “glue” which ensures that the fluoride sticks to your saliva.
Unfortunately, this “glue” causes the fluoride to absorb into the oral mucosa, allowing it to enter the brain via the bloodstream. This is especially harmful when happening to a developing brain.
So, what alternatives are out there for your child?
40 years ago, Japan developed a biomimetic material made of a natural substance used as one of the building blocks of enamel: hydroxyapatite.
Hydroxyapatite does, in fact, work excellently as a varnish, and there are plenty of natural plant-based substances (including a probiotic) within it that allow the mineral to stick to your kids’ teeth for two-to-three hours.
You can find certain toothpastes in the U.S. containing small, safe concentrations of hydroxyapatite, and a dedicated varnish is in the works which will be released within the first half of 2023, so stay tuned!
Key Points From This Episode:
● Introducing today’s topic: The problem with fluoride
● Hydroxyapatite as an alternative to fluoride varnish
● Upcoming varnish products made with hydroxyapatite
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