Does your fluoride varnish deliver?

Fluoride varnish is one of the best options for increasing the availability of topical fluoride. Regardless of the levels of fluoride in the water supply. Colgate explains how it can help primary dentition.

Delivering better oral health (DBOH) states that high quality evidence of the caries-preventive effectiveness of fluoride varnish in both permanent and primary dentition is available.

A number of systematic reviews conclude that applications two or more times a year produce a mean reduction in caries increment of 37% and 43% in primary and permanent dentition respectively.1,2  The evidence-based guidance for fluoride varnish states:

  • All children aged three years and above should have fluoride varnish applied twice yearly
  • Those children giving concern should receive two or more applications per year
  • Adults giving concern should also receive two applications per year.

What to look for in a fluoride varnish

DBOH also states that clinicians should be aware that there are many fluoride varnishes on the market.

Although they may have similar formulations, they may not be licensed for caries control. Clinicians should therefore take this into consideration with respect to prescriber’s responsibilities.

What does this mean for you and your patients?

When applying fluoride varnish for caries prevention you will want to know it will provide optimal protection by releasing fluoride ions when the teeth are under attack in an acidic environment. Not only on the day of application but over several months.

A licensed product must prove it provides a progressive release of fluoride over this period in order to deliver caries prevention.

Medically-licensed Colgate Duraphat Fluoride Varnish forms a fluoride-rich reservoir progressively releasing fluoride (data on Colgate file)

  1. Colgate Duraphat Fluoride Varnish has high adhesion properties, even on moist surfaces. A highly effective fluoride-rich layer is formed on the enamel. This is visible with an electron micrograph as layers of calcium fluoride globules (data on Colgate file)
  2. Colgate Duraphat Fluoride Varnish forms a film on the tooth surface. This then builds a calcium-fluoride layer, providing progressive release of fluoride over several months. Fluoride inhibits demineralisation and promotes remineralisation of the tooth surface (Seppä, 1984).


To deliver optimal outcomes for you and your patients choose medically-licensed Duraphat fluoride varnish from Colgate. Your partners in proactive prevention; supporting you, supporting smiles.

This article is intended for dental professionals only. For more information including prescribing information and references, click here.


Marinho VCC, Worthington HV, Walsh T and Clarkson JE (2013) Fluoride varnishes for preventing dental caries in children and adolescents. Cochrane Database Syst Rev 11(7): CD002279

Seppä L (1984) Fluoride Content of Enamel during Treatment and 2 Years after Discontinuation of Treatment with Fluoride Varnishes. Caries Res 18: 278-81.

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