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Healthy gums and teeth are important to your child's overall health. This is why your child's doctor will talk with you about good dental habits even before their first tooth appears.  Once your child has a tooth, your doctor may recommend that your child receive fluoride varnish treatments in the pediatrician's office to help prevent tooth decay.

"Fluoride has long been proven to protect against tooth decay.  Which is why toothpaste contains fluoride.  Many places have treated public drinking water with fluoride for just this reason.  Albany and some other surrounding counties do not have fluoridated water and because of that, the rate of tooth decay is high." says Dr. Janet West, Director of Pediatrics at Whitney Young Health. 

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Dr. West, in cooperation with the Department of Health, is starting fluoride varnish application for the WYH pediatrics population per the American Academy of Pediatrics recommendations. The children who do not visit the dentist regularly will be specifically targeted for this application. This can be done 2 to 4 times per year. The number of treatments depends on how likely it is that your child may get a cavity. "We will likely start with a focus on kids who are between the ages of 6 months to 3 years and expand that over time." says Dr. West

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The varnishes have already been used in our School Based Health Clinics for some time, WYH is now just expanding that service over the entire organization. Fluoride varnish is applied to the teeth with a brush and comes in several different flavors. Dr. West demonstrated this by having caramel apple flavor applied to her teeth. Some dentists apply the varnish to all of their patients regardless of age.

If you are interested in having your child receive fluoride varnish to help protect their teeth, call and make an appointment with is at (518) 465-4471. 

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