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Fluorine varnish against caries: effective remedy?

fluorine paint

Fluoride can be prescribed by the dentist for the prevention of caries, there are different ways of taking it, in some forms it can be applied by the patient himself, but for more complex cases the application of fluoride varnish at the dental office is recommended.

Pediatric dentistry and fluoride paints

Fluorine varnish is often used in pediatric dentistry and, thanks to the simplicity of its application and its proven effectiveness in caries prevention, it can be applied from 2 to 3 years of age.

dental caries fluoride varnish

Although the application of fluorine paints is quite widespread in the dental field, there are very few studies that have devoted attention to this specific treatment and to any adverse events related to it.

Some researchers have recently published a study, published in Jada of May 2021, in which the treatment with fluorine paint was analyzed and the effectiveness, safety and the possible presence of particularly evident side effects were evaluated.

Fluoride varnish: a safe dental treatment?

Cases from the US Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Manufacturer and User Facility Device Experience (MAUDE) database were selected as a survey sample.

This is the database of the federal agency FDA which aims to protect and advance public health through the production of more effective and safer drugs, foods, cosmetics, medical devices and even dental devices.

Within the database all adverse events were identified and examined by the researchers and subsequently classified using keywords that identified their symptoms, results and treatment.

The time span submitted to the researchers’ attention was 10 years.

The results of the research

Milan dentist

From the data that emerged from the database over the ten years taken into consideration, only 65 adverse events were reported following a treatment with fluorine paint.

The most obvious symptoms of the side effects were:
  • swelling;
  • heartburn;
  • itch;
  • soreness;
  • rash.

The area most affected by adverse reactions was that of the lips. No side effects proved to be lethal, patients who experienced adverse events were treated primarily with diphenhydramine. In the percentage of patients (about 16%) in which adverse cases occurred, a previous allergy was present in the anamnesis.

Ultimately, the rate of side effects following a fluoride paint treatment was estimated to be between 0.099 and 0.105 per million patients treated.

It can be concluded that fluoride paints can be considered a safe dental product for the prevention of dental caries.

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