How-To

Fluoride Varnish: A Post-Care Guide to Eating and Drinking

By Young Dental on September, 23 2019
Young Dental

We take great pride in developing innovative dental hygiene products that are manufactured in the USA.

You’ve probably heard this question after a fluoride varnish application: How long do I have to wait before I can eat and drink? 

Well, that depends. 

If patients want to make the most of their varnish treatment, the type of varnish you use might dictate when a morning patient can enjoy a hot cup of coffee, or what an evening patient might be considering for dinner. 

Fluoride varnish works best when it coats the teeth for an extended period of time, so eating and drinking the wrong things too soon can change the efficacy of the treatment. Every varnish manufacturer has a different way of explaining their post-care instructions, so this quick guide helps break them down into an easily digestible format.

Just a note: Because many of the instructions surrounding additional use of fluorides were fairly consistent across the board (patient should avoid fluoride gels, foams and rinses the day of treatment, and avoid fluoride tablets for 2-3 days after) , post-care fluoride use is not included in the summaries below.

According to instructions from 10 fluoride varnish brands, here’s what should and shouldn’t be consumed after a fluoride varnish treatment, and when: 


Varnish Pen® 5% Sodium Fluoride Varnish (Young Dental)
varnish_pen
How long should it be left on?

At least 6 hours

What the instructions say:
Patient can consume soft foods and cold drinks immediately following treatment, but should avoid hot drinks, hard food, alcohol (including mouthwash), brushing and flossing for 6 hours.

In conclusion:
Avoid for at least 6 hours:

  • Hot drinks
  • Hard foods
  • Alcohol (including mouthwash)
  • Brushing
  • Flossing

OK right away:

  • Soft foods
  • Cold drinks

Download the instructions for use

 


FluoriMax™ 2.5% Sodium Fluoride Varnish (Elevate Oral Care®)
fluorimax_varnish
How long should it be left on?
4 to 6 hours

What the instructions say:
Avoid hard foods for at least 2 hours. Avoid hot drinks or alcohol-containing beverages or mouth rinses for at least 4 hours. Wait 4 to 6 hours before resuming normal oral hygiene habits, including brushing or flossing treated teeth. If possible, wait until the next morning.

In conclusion:
Avoid for at least 2 hours:

  • Hard foods

Avoid for at least 4 hours:

  • Hot drinks
  • Alcohol (including mouthwash)

Avoid for 4 to 6 hours:

  • Brushing (if possible, wait until the next morning)
  • Flossing (if possible, wait until the next morning)

OK right away:

  • Soft foods
  • Cold drinks

Download the instructions for use

 


D-Lish® 5% Sodium Fluoride Varnish (Young Dental)
d-lish_varnish
How long should it be left on?
At least 4 hours

What the instructions say:
Instruct patient to avoid hard food, alcohol, brushing or flossing for the next 4 hours after application. Patients can consume hot liquids immediately following treatment.

In conclusion:
Avoid for at least 4 hours:

  • Hard foods
  • Alcohol (including mouthwash)
  • Brushing
  • Flossing

OK right away:

  • Hot drinks
  • Soft foods
  • Cold drinks

Download the instructions for use

 

 

Vanish™ 5% Sodium Fluoride White Varnish (3M™)
vanish_varnish
How long should it be left on?

4 to 24 hours

The coating will naturally wear away in that time period. In laboratory studies, Vanish White Varnish continues to release fluoride, calcium and phosphate for 24 hours. Patients should refrain from brushing or flossing their teeth for 24 hours to achieve the maximum benefit.

What the instructions say:
Patients can eat immediately after application of Vanish White Varnish. They should avoid eating foods that are hard or sticky and drinking beverages that are hot or contain alcohol. This includes the use of mouth rinses containing alcohol.

In conclusion:
Avoid for at least 4 hours:

  • Hard foods
  • Hot drinks
  • Alcohol (including mouthwash)

Avoid for 24 hours:

  • Brushing
  • Flossing

OK right away:

  • Soft foods
  • Cold drinks

Download the instructions for use

 

 

3M™ Fast Release Varnish (3M™)
3m_fast_release_varnish
How long should it be left on?

At least 4 hours

What the instructions say:
Do not brush or floss your teeth, and eat only soft food for at least 4 hours after the treatment. Do not consume hot drinks or alcohol (including mouth rinses) for at least 4 hours after treatment. 3M Fast Release Varnish coating can be removed by brushing and flossing.

In conclusion:
Avoid for at least 4 hours:

  • Hard foods
  • Hot drinks
  • Alcohol (including mouthwash)
  • Brushing
  • Flossing

OK right away:

  • Soft foods
  • Cold drinks

Download the instructions for use

 

 

Nupro 5% Sodium Fluoride White Varnish (Dentsply Sirona)
nupro_white_varnish
How long should it be left on?
At least 2 hours

What the instructions say:
Instruct patient to remain on a soft-food diet, avoid mouth rinses containing fluoride or alcohol, avoid brushing or flossing treated area for at least 2 hours after treatment. Inform your patient that the fluoride varnish may begin to gradually slough off the tooth surface after treatment. Varnish can also be removed after 2 hours by brushing and flossing.

In conclusion:
Avoid for at least 2 hours:

  • Hard foods
  • Alcohol (including mouthwash)
  • Brushing
  • Flossing

OK right away:

  • Hot drinks*
  • Soft foods
  • Cold drinks

*These aren't specifically mentioned in the instructions found online, so we're assuming they're OK right away; however, more information may be found with the instructions included in the box. 

Download the instructions for use

 

 

Oral-B® 5% Sodium Fluoride Varnish (Young Dental)
oral-b_varnish
How long should it be left on?

At least 6 hours

What the instructions say:
It is recommended that the patient be instructed to only eat soft foods and drink cold liquids for 2 hours after treatment. After 6 hours, the patient may consume hot drinks or alcohol (mouth rinses), and may brush or floss.

In conclusion:
Avoid for at least 2 hours:

  • Hard foods

Avoid for at least 6 hours:

  • Hard foods
  • Hot drinks
  • Alcohol (including mouthwash)
  • Brushing
  • Flossing

OK right away:

  • Soft foods
  • Cold drinks

Download the instructions for use

 

 

VOCO Profluorid Varnish (VOCO)
voco_profluorid_varnish
How long should it be left on?
At least 4 hours

What the instructions say:
Instruct patient to avoid hard food, alcohol and brushing for the next 4 hours after application.

In conclusion:
Avoid for at least 4 hours:

  • Hard foods
  • Alcohol (including mouthwash)
  • Brushing
  • Flossing

OK right away:

  • Soft foods
  • Cold drinks
  • Hot drinks*

*These aren't specifically mentioned in the instructions found online, so we're assuming they're OK right away; however, more information may be found with the instructions included in the box. 

Download the instructions for use

 

 

Zooby® 5% Sodium Fluoride Varnish (Young Dental)
zooby_varnish
How long should it be left on?
At least 6 hours

What the instructions say:
It is recommended that the patient be instructed to only eat soft foods and drink cold liquids for 2 hours after treatment. After 6 hours, the patient may consume hot drinks or alcohol (mouth rinses) and may brush or fl­oss.

In conclusion:
Avoid for at least 2 hours:

  • Hard foods

Avoid for at least 6 hours:

  • Hot drinks
  • Alcohol (including mouthwash)
  • Brushing
  • Flossing

OK right away:

  • Soft foods
  • Cold drinks

Download the instructions for use

 

 

Waterpik® UltraThin Fluoride Varnish (Waterpik®)
waterpi
How long should it be left on?

At least 4 hours

What the instructions say:
Instruct the patient to allow varnish to remain in contact with the tooth surfaces for a minimum of 4 hours. For maximum fluoride uptake, the varnish can remain on the teeth overnight and can be brushed off in the morning. It is recommended that the patient be instructed to only eat soft foods and drink cold liquids for 4 hours after treatment. Eating hard foods and brushing/flossing should be avoided during the treatment period.

In conclusion:
Avoid for at least 4 hours:

  • Hard foods
  • Hot drinks
  • Brushing (for best results, let varnish remain on teeth overnight)
  • Flossing (for best results, let varnish remain on teeth overnight)

OK right away:

  • Soft foods
  • Cold drinks 

*Most other varnish brands include alcohol avoidance in their instructions, but instructions found online did not; however, more information may be found with the instructions included in the box. 

Download the instructions for use

 

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