Health department promoting fluoride varnish for Children’s Dental Health Month

MARQUETTE COUNTY — It’s almost the end of the month and that mean’s National Children’s Dental Health Month is ending. The Marquette County Health Department is promoting a statewide program called “Varnish! Michigan – Babies, Too” to protect children’s teeth and promote regular dental check-ups.

Through the program, children up to three years of age can have a fluoride varnish painted onto their teeth, either at the health department’s clinic or at their dentist. The varnish helps teeth become more resistant to acid and prevents tooth decay.

Among other benefits, the varnish takes less than a minute to apply and comes in a variety of flavors.

“It’s very cost effective,” said Rebecca Maino, registered dental hygienist and coordinator for the U.P. Wide Smiles program. “The children, when the varnish is put on their teeth at this young age, they can’t swallow it, so they’re not going to get a stomachache. It sticks to the tooth surface for a long period of time, so you’re really getting the good benefit of that fluoride varnish to literally varnish and sink in to make that enamel more resistant, or re-mineralize, to make it stronger.”

The varnish is free for children covered by UPHP Healthy Kids Dental or MI Child plans. Fluoride varnish is available throughout the year.

The Marquette County Health Department would like to remind parents that visits to its clinic are supplemental and are not meant to replace dental visits. Maino said that new dentists want to see children before they are one year-old.

For more information, visit the Marquette County Health Department’s website HERE.