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tick.png A Dental Nurses Guide To The Fluoride Varnish Application Course


According to the GDC, dental nurses are able to carry out fluoride varnish applications for patients on prescription or those enrolled in a dental health programme, but only if they're qualified to do so. At the Dental Nursing Academy our fluoride varnish application course equips dental nursing students with the knowledge and the training to do exactly that. In addition it's also a recognised and verifiable part of their continuing professional development (CPD).


So how can this course benefit a dental nurse?


Firstly and obviously adding another qualification clearly improves your skill set. This not only helps your existing practice and it's patients, but positions you as a strong asset to any future employers. For example, certain areas in the UK run oral health programmes such as 'Designed To Smile' in Wales and 'Child Smile' in Scotland. These programmes involve visiting children outside of the normal practice setting and applying fluoride varnish to their teeth. Fluoride varnishing is also a good skill to have under your belt because it's utilised in conjunction with the Certificate of Oral Health Education. As a result it's possible with this combination of qualifications that dental nurses could look into running their very own OHE/Fluoride clinics if they choose to.


What is Fluoride and why is it important?


Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral and is often found in fish and tea. It's also present in the human body as well as in water sources found in certain areas. Fluoride is known to provide added protection for the teeth to safeguard against cavities. The problem lies when children and adults don't get a sufficient fluoride intake - either naturally through food or water or through the correct toothpastes. In these cases their teeth can be at greater risk from developing tooth decay. For this reason it may be advisable for patients to undergo a fluoride varnish application. In some cases it's recommended that children over the age of 2 receive fluoride varnish treatment every 6 months.


How does fluoride varnish work?


Fluoride varnish is a harmless pale yellow gel that sets quickly, and when placed on the teeth it has a pleasant taste and a fruity smell which children love. When applied it has 3 main purposes. These are:


tick.png It stops the demineralisation process and slows down any decay

tick.png It strengthens the tooth enamel making it more resistant to plaque

tick.png It speeds up the natural re-mineralisation process making teeth less vulnerable sooner


During the course students will learn:


tick.png How to carry out an intra-oral assessment prior to application

tick.png How to sterilise equipment before applying.

tick.png What personal protective equipment is needed, how to wear it, and apply it to the patient

tick.png What the correct amounts of fluoride are – This includes first and subsequent applications

tick.png Where to apply

tick.png How to apply

tick.png Understanding when not to apply the application

tick.png How to communicate that all-important after-care advice

tick.png How to record patient notes

tick.png Understanding the side effects and risks – e.g. dental fluorosis


Upon completion of classroom-based/e-learning and clinical-based practical assessments, students are assured of a practical experience portfolio that will count as verifiable hours towards their allotted CPD. While classroom or e-learning is delivered over several short sessions, students will need to demonstrate practical skills in a clinical dental setting over a number of weeks/months.


So who is the course for?


All GDC registered dental nurses who are currently working in either an NHS or private dental practice and are looking to further their skill-set in this area. It's advised that dental nurses should also have access to adults and children who require fluoride varnish treatments; and have full support from their qualified dental mentor.


Why choose the Dental Nursing Academy?


Tapping into a wealth of dental care experience we provide the highest standards of teaching  needed for furthering your career in the dental care sector. Our commitment to providing only the highest calibre of dental nurses is reflected in our unwavering pledge to nurture and support every student we teach. This is reflected in our high pass rates which are well in excess of 90%. Our teaching team are themselves GDC registered and have in excess of 25 years of experience between them, so students can rest assured that they're being taught by the best. As such candidates are guaranteed the optimum level of teaching, support, and help needed to pass the course.


If you're looking to further your skill-set as a registered dental nurse and are considering undertaking a fluoride varnish application course, then get in touch. To find out more about this course, or indeed any other of our CPD courses contact us on 020 3875 0569, email us at, or fill out the enrolment form on our website. Learning just got a whole lot easier with the Dental Nursing Academy!