Dental Problems

Topical Application of Fluoride Using Varnish and Foam

Fluoride is one of the effective treatments for the prevention of caries. Topical application of fluoride using varnish and foam is one among the effective treatments. Read on to know more about the topical application of fluoride with varnish and foam discussed briefly in this article.

Fluoride-Using-Varnish-and-FoamTopical Application of Fluoride:

Fluoride Varnish Application:

Fluoride varnish is one of the treatments for the topical fluoride application. It is the protective coating which is painted on the teeth for preventing caries. This topical application can also be applied on the teeth that are already decayed or with caries. Fluoride treatment helps in slowing down or in stopping the caries from getting more advanced and bigger.


Varnish – Bifluoride 12 (2.71% NaF, 2.92% CaFâ‚‚)

Method of Preparation:

The varnish is commercially available and was discovered by Schmidt in 1964.

Technique of Application:

  • Do the thorough prohylaxis and dry the teeth (do not use cotton for isolation as varnish is sticky and tend to stick to cotton).
  • Drop the varnish onto the brush or foam pellet.
  • Paint the varnish thinly first on the lower arch (as saliva collects more rapidly on it) and then on upper arch starting from the proximal surfaces. Layers, which are too thick, separate too easily.

Instructions for the patients:

After the treatment process, patients need to follow the instruction properly and take care. These instructions include the following.

  • They must not rinse or drink anything at all for that day.
  • They are also advised not to eat solid food for that day.
  • They are also advised not to brush for that day.
  • They are instructed to take semi-solids and liquids till the next morning.

Number of topical applications per year:

The topical fluoride varnish applications are done semiannual.

Advantages of topical fluoride varnish application:

  • This fluoride application forms a watertight protective film insulating against thermal and chemical influences.
  • With the proper and correct application and good oral hygiene varnish remains in place for several days.
  • During this time period, fluorides act on the treatment surface.

Disadvantages of topical fluoride varnish application:

Patient compliance is required.


0.92% F (9200 ppm) pH -4.5

Method of foam preparation:

The foam of fluoride is available commercially.

Number of topical fluoride foam applications:

This application is done semiannually.

Advantages of Topical Fluoride Foam Application:

  • It is less dense than gel and is able to flow better, allowing a free movement of the fluoride ion on the tooth surface and interproximal areas.
  • Total density by weight is less than gel application. This reduces the risk of ingestion and systemic toxicity of fluoride.

Disadvantages of topical fluoride foam application:

Retention on to the tooth surface is less as no polymers are added.

Other varnish applications:

Some of the other topical fluoride varnish applications are done using the following:

  • Duraphat (Germany)
  • Fluorprotector (Lichenstein)
  • Fluoritop (India)

Mechanism of action of topical fluoride varnish application:

10Ca₅(PO₄)₃OH + 10F⁻ → 6Ca₅(PO₄)₃F + 2CaF₂ + 6Ca₃(PO₄)₂ + 10OH⁻
2Ca₅(PO₄)₃OH + CaF₂ → 2Ca₅(PO₄)₃F + Ca(OH)₂

The above article discusses briefly about the topical application of fluoride using varnish and foam application. This application is done by professional. These treatment agents contain fluoride which is the major element for the treatment of caries and also in prevention. All the topical applications for the treatment of caries contain fluoride as the main element. There are various other fluoride topical applications which include APF solution and gel and fluoride supplements. Patients must go for a thorough examination before the treatment and must follow the instructions carefully. The professional topical fluoride application is done by the dentist, thus it must not be used as a self-treatment.

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