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Fluoride varnish for children provides extra protection against tooth decay when used in addition to regular brushing with fluoride toothpaste.

It is a pale clear/yellow gel that sets quickly when applied to children’s teeth using a soft brush. Most children find it has a pleasant taste and a fruity smell.

A child can have fluoride varnish applied by their dentist twice a year from the age of two and it is a quick and painless procedure.

It is available on the NHS from your dentist, and in schools where the Teeth Team programme is in place.

It can be applied to both baby teeth and adult teeth and the process involves painting a varnish containing high levels of fluoride onto the surface of the tooth every six months to prevent decay. It works by strengthening tooth enamel, making it more resistant to decay.

Ask your dentist if your child could benefit from fluoride varnish. You will, as a parent, be asked for written permission for the procedure to be used on your child.

You can find more tips on healthy eating and helping your child look after their teeth in our resources section.