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How Often Should I Apply the Fluoride Varnish?

Ask the Expert ForumCategory: Fluoride TherapyHow Often Should I Apply the Fluoride Varnish?
Avatarguestuser Staff asked 5 years ago

A patient in 50-60 age range with recession requested a fluoride treatment due to gingival recession. I told her that it was a good idea to have a professional fluoride application due to the root surface being more porous then enamel and susceptible to decay. I chose fluoride varnish for the exposed root surfaces. She is a well informed and motivated patient, with excellent oral hygiene and no sensitivity. Considering her history, how often should I apply the fluoride varnish?

1 Answers
Durinda Mattana, RDH, BSDH, MSDurinda Mattana, RDH, BSDH, MS Staff answered 12 months ago

Thank you for your question about the frequency of varnish application. You selected the best professional topical fluoride application by using 5% NaF varnish to allow complete coverage for your patient’s exposed root surfaces. As you may know fluoride varnish has FDA approval as a desensitizing agent and shows great caries preventive benefits. According to the most recent ADA report on topical fluorides, 5% NaF varnish should be applied every 3-6 months for patients at an elevated risk of dental caries. Your professional judgment will guide you to determine if applications every 3 or every 6 months will work best for this patient based on her re-care frequency, caries risk status, and symptoms of dentin hypersensitivity.

Weyant RJ, Tracy SL, Anselmo T, Beltrán-Aguilar ED, Donly KJ, Frese WA, Hujoel PP, Iafolla T, Kohn W, Kumar J, Levy SM, Tinanoff N, Wright JT, Zero D, Aravamudhan K, Frantsve-Hawley J, Meyer DM. Topical fluoride for caries prevention: Executive summary of the updated clinical recommendations and supporting systemic review. J Am Dent Assoc. 2013 Nov;144(11):1279-1291.