Fluoride Varnish Application – a Quick Guide You will need

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Fluoride Varnish Application – a Quick Guide
1. You will need:

  • Fluoride Varnish

  • Gauze sponges (2 x 2)

  • Small disposable brushes (e.g., Benda-Brush™)

  • Dental mouth mirrors (disposable or sterilizable)

  • Tongue blades

  • Latex/vinyl gloves

  • Flashlight (penlight size)

2. Position the child

  • For an infant – place the child on the parent’s lap with the head on the parent’s knees and the legs at the parent’s waist. Position yourself knee-to-knee with the parent, and treat the child from above the head.

  • Or, place an infant or young child on an exam table and work from above the head

  • Or, adapt a method that works for you.

3. Apply the varnish

  • Using gentle finger pressure, open the child’s mouth.

  • Clean and dry the teeth with a gauze sponge. The teeth must be dry.

  • Use your fingers and sponges to isolate the dry teeth and keep them dry. You will usually be able to isolate a quadrant of teeth at a time, and you will have fewer teeth to work with in younger children.

  • Apply a thin layer of varnish to all surfaces of the teeth.

  • Once it is applied, the varnish sets quickly – you need not worry about moisture (saliva) contamination.

  • Repeat the varnish application every six months or at the appropriate interval depending on the child’s assessed level of risk for developing dental decay.

4. Instruct the parent/caregiver. Remind the parent:

  • The child should eat a soft, non-abrasive diet for the rest of the day.

  • The child’s teeth should not be brushed until the next day.

  • The child’s teeth will not be shiny and may have an off-color (depending on the product) until the next day.

  • Review the age-appropriate information sheet you provide for more information about varnish and good oral health habits

Provided by the Oral Health Program, ME Center for Disease Control and Prevention, DHHS

11 SHS, 286 Water St., 5th floor, Augusta, ME 04333-0011

Phone: (207) 287-2361; Fax (207) 287-7213; TTY (800) 606-0215 12/2008

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