We have recently made the switch in the way we administer our fluoride treatment at the end of every cleaning appointment! We have shifted away from the standard fluoride foam and gel in the trays to a new paint-on, or fluoride varnish, type of application. Fluoride varnish is a gel that is applied with a small soft brush to the sides and chewing surfaces of your teeth.
Fluoride varnish is becoming the preferred method for delivery of professional fluoride treatments. Research has shown that fluoride applied directly to teeth is important for fighting decay. It is proven safe and effective, and is easy to use. It sets quickly on the teeth, and gagging and swallowing is unusual. We are finding that patients are more comfortable and accepting of fluoride varnish than with standard trays, making it perfect for patients of any age.
Advantages of fluoride varnish:
• Quickly applied, takes less than a minute
• You can eat and drink immediately after (with a few minor exceptions)
• Your own saliva sets up the fluoride and sets it on the teeth
• Ingestion is very minimal
• Helps to decrease tooth sensitivity
• No large trays needed
• Can be applied to ALL ages
Disadvantages of fluoride varnish:
• No brushing or flossing for 4-6 hours after application
• May make the teeth feel a somewhat fuzzy initially, but most people find it tolerable
Fluoride varnish offers many advantages over tray applications. All in all, fluoride has been dentistry’s greatest success in preventing dental caries. So what are you waiting for? Try the fluoride varnish at your next cleaning appointment and join the others who won’t use anything else!