Fluoride Varnish Information

As part of the West House Dental Practice drive to deliver better oral health, our dentists are now placing a fluoride varnish to all children’s teeth (aged 3+) as part of the routine check up appointment.

Fluoride is no longer added to the drinking water in our area. A number of scientific studies have shown that applying sodium fluoride varnish at least twice a year can reduce decay in deciduous (baby) teeth by 37% and by 43% in permanent teeth when used in addition to brushing regularly with fluoride toothpaste.

The varnish is a tooth coloured, flavoured (mint, cherry or melon) thin sticky varnish that is placed on the teeth and to be most effective you must not eat, drink or rinse for 1 hour after it’s application, eat only soft foods in the following 4 hours and avoid brushing for 4 hours.

The fluoride varnish is well accepted and considered to be safe but there is a small risk of allergy* so for children who have a history of allergic episodes requiring hospital admission, including asthma, varnish application should be avoided. If your child already has fluoride tablets/drops please let us know.

If you are at all concerned, would like more information, or do not wish your child to have the varnish applied, please speak to your dentist during their check up appointment.  Your dentist will not apply the varnish without your verbal consent first.

There is no charge for this service for children and if your child has had decay in the past we would recommend the varnish be placed every 3 months. It is also available for adults who have a high risk of dental decay and if placed during your routine check up appointment there is no extra charge if you are an NHS patient.

Are there any risks?

Children who swallow too much fluoride over long periods of time can develop white spots on their teeth. However, the risk of developing white spots as a result of fluoride varnish is very small.

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