Relatively new here in the U.S., fluoride varnishes have been used in other countries since the 1980s. Since I can remember, both as a patient and as a hygienist, fluoride foam and trays have been the norm. Not being big on change, I had been hesitant to start using the varnish. Now I love it! Just a few of the advantages of the varnish:
- application is quick and easy
- less mess
- sets even in the presence of saliva
- stays in contact with the tooth surface for an extended period of time
- greater patient acceptability, especially with toddlers and adults with severe gag reflexes
- minimal ingestion during and after treatment
Post op instructions for patients are easy: don’t brush or floss for at least 4-6 hours, eating soft foods and drinking is okay during the treatment time. This is a big plus for patients, not having to wait 30 minutes to an hour.
Varnishes are supported by the ADA as a safe and effective form of fluoride application. So if you haven’t made the switch, give it a try.