Fluoride Varnish Standard of Care

  • The United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) in 2014 recommended that primary care clinicians apply fluoride varnish to the teeth of all infants and children, starting with the appearance of the first primary tooth through age 5, at least every 6 months.
    • Recommendation applies to ALL children; no longer a risk-based recommendation
    • Assigned a "B" grade recommendation
  • All children should receive a professional fluoride treatment at least every 6 months in the primary care medical home.
  • Higher risk children should receive fluoride varnish application every 3 months.
  • Though helpful for reducing caries, varnish is not a replacement for appropriate diet, regular brushing, indicated systemic fluoride supplements, or routine dental care.


AAPD Guideline on Fluoride Therapy revised 2008

Hutter JW, Chan JT, Featherstone JDB, et al. Professionally Applied Topical Fluoride: Evidence Based Clinical Recommendations. American Dental Association, Council on Scientific Affairs, May 2006.

U.S. Preventive Services Task Force Recommendation Statement. Prevention of Dental Caries in Children from Birth Through Age 5 Years. May 2014. www.uspreventiveservicestaskforce.org/uspstf/uspsdnch.htm

Clark MB, Slayton RL; AAP Section on Oral Health. Fluoride use in caries prevention in the primary care setting. Pediatrics. 2014 Sep;134(3):626-33.