Fluoride Varnishing

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is Fluoride Varnishing?

    Fluoride varnish is a protective coating that is painted on teeth to help prevent new cavities and to stop cavities that have already started.

    Fluoride varnish is sticky, so it attaches to the teeth easily and makes the outer layer (enamel) of the teeth harder and stronger to help prevent cavities.

  • Why is Fluoride Varnish Recommended?

    Tooth decay is one of the most common preventable diseases in children. Children as young as 12 months can get cavities which can cause pain and inflammation and keep children from eating, speaking, sleeping, learning and smiling.

  • Does My Child Need Fluoride Varnish?

    Fluoride varnish is recommended for children who are at risk for dental decay or do not live in communities with fluoridated water. Children living in homes that rely on a private well for their water supply may benefit from the application of fluoride varnish.

  • Does Fluoride Varnish Cause Fluorosis?

    The American Dental Association (ADA) recognizes the use of fluoride in community water systems is safe and effective in preventing tooth decay. In addition to fluoridated water, fluoride varnish treatments can help in strengthening teeth already present in the mouth by slowing the development and/or progression of tooth decay.

  • Does My Child Need Fluoride Varnish If I Have Fluoridated Water?

    The American Dental Association (ADA) recognizes the use of fluoride in community water systems is safe and effective in preventing tooth decay. In addition to fluoridated water, fluoride varnish treatments can help in strengthening teeth already present in the mouth by slowing the development and/or progression of tooth decay.

  • At What Age Should Fluoride Varnish Be Applied?

    Fluoride varnish is recommended for children of all ages, even infants. For some infants receiving regular fluoride varnish applications from the time they have their first tooth can reduce dental decay by up to 37%.

  • How Often Should My Child Get Fluoride Varnish?

    Fluoride varnish can be applied 4 times a year or every 3 months. Studies show that children who get fluoride varnish every 3 months have fewer cavities than those who do not.

  • Is Fluoride Varnish Safe?

    Yes. Fluoride varnish can be used on babies and young children from the time they develop their first tooth. The consistency of the varnish makes it less likely to be swallowed. Only a very small amount is used and is applied by a licensed dental or medical professional. Application of the fluoride varnish is quick and painless.

  • What Should Parents Do After Fluoride Varnish is Applied?
    • Do not brush child’s teeth until next day.
    • Do not allow child to eat hard or chewy foods that day (such as fruit rollups, gum or candy).
    • The fluoride varnish may cause your child’s teeth to appear yellow during the first 24 hours after application. This is normal and will disappear when the teeth are brushed the next day.
  • How Long Does Fluoride Varnish Last?

    Fluoride varnish sticks to the teeth until brushed off the next day. The benefits will last for several months and has best results if applied every 3-4 months.

  • When is Fluoride Varnish Not Used?

    Fluoride varnish is not used if there are noticeable sores in the mouth or on the gums. It is also not used if there is an allergy to one of the ingredients in the varnish.

  • How Much Does Fluoride Varnish Cost?

    Fluoride varnishing is a FREE benefit to WIC participants. If your child has Medicaid, the insurance company may be billed.

  • Which Clinics Provide Fluoride Varnish?

    Fluoride varnish is currently available at the North County Clinic. Fluoride varnish will be available at the Fuller Clinic, Sheldon Clinic and South Clinic by Fall 2018. View Clinic Locations