OBJECTIVES: To evaluate the effect of biannual fluoride varnish applications in preschool children as an adjunct to school-based oral health promotion and supervised tooth brushing with 1000ppm fluoride toothpaste. METHODS: 424 preschool children, 2-5 year of age, from 10 different pre schools in Athens were invited to this double-blind randomized controlled trial and 328 children completed the 2-year programme. All children received oral health education with hygiene instructions twice yearly and attended supervised tooth brushing once daily. The test group was treated with fluoride varnish (0.9% diflurosilane) biannually while the control group had placebo applications. The primary endpoints were caries prevalence and increment; secondary outcomes were gingival health, mutans streptococci growth and salivary buffer capacity. RESULTS: The groups were balanced at baseline and no significant differences in caries prevalence or increment were displayed between the groups after 1 and 2 years, respectively. There was a reduced number of new pre-cavitated enamel lesions during the second year of the study (p=0.05) but the decrease was not statistically significant. The secondary endpoints were unaffected by the varnish treatments. CONCLUSIONS: Under the present conditions, biannual fluoride varnish applications in preschool children did not show significant caries-preventive benefits when provided as an adjunct to school-based supervised tooth brushing with 1000ppm fluoride toothpaste. CLINICAL SIGNIFICANCE: In community based, caries prevention programmes, for high caries risk preschool children, a fluoride varnish may add little to caries prevention, when 1000ppm fluoride toothpaste is used daily.
Journal of Dentistry, 2014, Vol 42, Issue 10, p. 1277-83