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Fluoride Varnish
Posted on 10/15/2015 by Fariba Mutschler
As we mention in the Fluoride article, fluoride is our best medicine to fight cavities.

However, a recent meeting brought to my attention new recommendations regarding fluoride varnish and how it is used to strengthen enamel and fight cavities.

We have been using fluoride varnish for many years as a topical fluoride treatment for the very young children who have difficulty holding the foam fluoride trays in their mouths for more than a minute.

An interesting study looked at the use of fluoride varnish compared with the foamy fluoride and found that there is less fluoride available to swallow even though the fluoride varnish is extremely concentrated.

This is because the concentrated varnish needs much less volume to coat the teeth. This means that if children swallow it, there is less likelihood of affecting their developing permanent teeth.

Other advantages of fluoride varnish include the ease of placement, that it hardens with water contact, and it stays on teeth for hours compared with minutes for the foam fluoride.

Many dentists now recommend fluoride varnish as the preferred topical fluoride treatment for children under six years of age.

Suggested technique:


1.  professionally clean the teeth,
2.  dry them,
3.  brush on the fluoride varnish in a very thin coat,
4.  rinse off with water to set the resin, and
5.  vacuum away the excess,
6.  instruct the parents to avoid brushing the teeth for the rest of the day to allow the varnish to work on the teeth as long as possible,
7.  skip any fluoride supplement that day

Apparently, the best results are achieved using the brand of fluoride varnish called Duraphat.

Supposedly their special carrier resin is particularly effective at adhering to dry teeth and keeping the fluoride in contact with the enamel for increased effectiveness.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the use of fluoride varnish for lining cavities and reducing sensitivity of teeth.

The use of fluoride varnish for reducing cavities is considered off label but is completely supported by many well designed studies that demonstrate its effectiveness.

After learning more about the advantages of fluoride varnish, give Great Grins for KIDS a call if you would like to receive the benefits of fluoride varnish, especially for the under-six crowd, at either our Oregon City or East Portland offices.
Great Grins for Kids gets our highest rating. The dentists and staff are highly professional, yet compassionate and friendly. We have had experience with other dental practices that don't measure up. Getting our kids to Great Grins was a wonderful upgrade for our family. You set the bar very high! ~ Annabelle C.


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