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An Ounce of Prevention is Worth a Pound of Cure – the Importance of Fluoride Varnish

During Oral Health Month, we would like to remind you that prevention is crucial to keeping your patients' smiles healthy throughout their lifetime.


During Oral Health Month, we would like to remind you that prevention is crucial to keeping your patients’ smiles healthy throughout their lifetime. One of the ways to ensure your patients maintain optimal oral health are regular fluoride treatments. For many years, the only formulations available were gel or foam applied with trays, for a grueling application time of four minutes. The process was messy and even hazardous if gel was ingested by the patient in volume. One-minute fluoride gel application foam products appeared on the market; however, according to the ADA, they are not effective and should not be used. Thankfully, today there are better options available. Fluoride varnish is the latest approved standard of care from the ADA for fluoride treatments. Fluoride varnish is effective, efficient, and approved for patients of all ages, even as young as 6 months old.

Given the effectiveness of fluoride varnish, it isn’t particularly surprising that one of Centrix’s best-selling products is FluoroDose®! Our fluoride varnish has been ranked as the TOP in its category for 6 straight years by THE DENTAL ADVISOR. We’re proud to also announce that we’ve recently updated our packaging to an enclosed LolliTray™ with 4 patented features to make varnish applications easier for you and your patients. Learn more here!
Carly Cammarano, RDH, describes why she recommends fluoride varnish and FluoroDose in particular for her patients:

I use fluoride varnish for a multitude of reasons. The application is quick and causes the patient no discomfort, achieving immediate greater patient acceptance. One of the main advantages of using fluoride varnish is that the patient can eat or drink right after the application. Upon contact with saliva, the varnish dries in seconds, setting the varnish on the teeth. The only caution is that the patient should not brush or floss their teeth for six to eight hours or drink hot beverages.

I prefer to use FluoroDose varnish from Centrix because it goes on clear, whereas most other varnishes leave a yellow tint. FluoroDose also goes on smoothly with no “wooly” feeling, where other varnishes have a fuzzy feel to them, which isn’t desirable following a prophylaxis. Application time takes less than a minute and it comes in a convenient single-dose package with applicator brush. When considering cost of buying varnish vs gels and trays, varnish is more economical and requires less preparation to apply, less messy and reducing operatory cleanup time.

The ADA recommends that an application of fluoride varnish “every six months is effective in preventing caries in the primary and permanent dentition of children and adolescents.”1 In high-risk patients, twice yearly applications are recommended. 2 Studies also show that when “fluoride incorporation into the crystalline lattice, fluoride varnishes interact with saliva and form calcium fluoride (CaF2) compounds on enamel. These calcium fluoride deposits create a reservoir of fluoride ions, which are slowly released when the pH of plaque drops, thus acting as a prolonged source of fluoride ion. This has been considered the most important action mechanism of the products with high fluoride concentrations. Research shows that fluoride varnishes are effective when used on early white spot lesions, since a large amount of fluoride can be deposited in the porous demineralized enamel. Thus, the action of fluoride can be related to its inhibition of the demineralization processes as well as its promotion of enamel remineralization.”2

Fluoride varnish is for every stage of life. Apply varnish on the infant’s first tooth, during orthodontic treatments, on teens and adults that present themselves with dry mouth or sensitivity, on patients with disabilities and/or drug use, and seniors with root exposure. Fluoride varnish has been shown to decrease cervical dentin hypersensitivity. For more information on using fluoride varnish on adults visit centrixdental.com/adultfluoride

Fluoride varnish is my preferred method for delivery of professional fluoride treatments. It is proven safe and effective, and is easy to use. Patients are more comfortable and accepting of fluoride varnish than with standard trays and gels, making it perfect for patients of any age. Plus, fluoride varnish is often less expensive than gels and trays!

Try FluoroDose today!
To learn more about Prevention for Life®, our program to combat caries at any age (especially in adults!) with the appropriate risk assessment tools to help you gain patient acceptance, visit our dedicated prevention-focused website
For more information on these or any of the Centrix line of products, visit www.centrixdental.com or call 800.235-5862 to speak to a product specialist.

1. American Dental Association Council on Scientific Affairs. Professionally applied topical fluoride: evidence-based clinical recommendations. J Am Dent Assoc 2006; 137(8):1151Ð9
2. Recommendations for Fluoride Varnish Use in Caries Management . Dentistry Today Tuesday, 01 January 2008 00:00

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