Yesterday I was surfing Pinterest and came across some motivational sayings for weight loss. One of them said: You’re not hungry, you’re just bored. Lol. Well, I guess I’m bored a lot? Thanks, Pinterest. I don’t think I eat so much out of boredom as I do out of stuff just being available to eat. You may be surprised at the amount of delicious treats people gift dentists around the holidays! I once ate seven cookies in ONE day. It was a Tiff’s Treats variety pack. What was I supposed to do? Not try them all? Pfft. Needless to say, I didn’t feel great about myself and my teeth felt especially gross.
And since I’m a monster who lets sugar rot my teeth, I have to take extra precautions to protect against cavities. I had Shauntel, our amazing hygienist, clean my teeth and then had her apply a fluoride varnish. Let me tell y’all, this is like the lime part of a tequila shot or finding that special rug that really ties the room together; The varnish is the cherry on top of your teeth cleaning sundae. And boy do I love sundaes!
The varnish is formulated to strengthen enamel and is essentially painted onto the surface of the teeth. It is slight tacky to the touch–and while that feels kind of weird, it helps it stick to the teeth for maximum fluoride intervention. This isn’t like the older versions where you can’t do anything fun afterwards–like eat, drink, or listen to rock n roll. You can eat right away! And you can listen to as much Metallica as you want! Just no alcohol, nothing crunchy (like granola or potato chips) and nothing too hot (like ramen, coffee, or tea) for about four hours after.
If the benefits of fluoride aren’t already making you swoon, may I mention that they also taste delicious? The flavors include Walterberry, Orange Cream, Bubble Gum, and the good ol’ standby, Cool Mint. I know what you’re thinking… What the heck is a Walterberry? (And to you, sir or madam, I tip my hat as you’ve made it this far through a dental blog.) A Walterberry is essentially dental slang for a boysenberry. No matter what it is, it tastes so good you’ll want to eat it. But please don’t!
Fluoride varnish is sometimes covered by insurance maybe once or twice a year–though usually only for kids. But don’t let this deter you! It’s really affordable and is so dang effective at preventing decay. The out of pocket cost is only $26–that’s like the cost of a medium popcorn and a pickle at the movie theater. Shauntel recommends doing it every 4-6 months but even if you only get it done once a year, your teeth will consider that a win.