About this resource:
Source: The Cochrane Collaborative
Last Reviewed: 2022
Workgroups: Oral Health Workgroup
In children and adolescents aged 6 and older, tooth decay (caries) often affects the biting surfaces of the permanent teeth at the back of the mouth. Fluoride varnishes and dental sealants can help prevent caries. A fluoride varnish is a thin layer of fluoride a dentist applies to the teeth. A dental sealant is a coating made from adhesive material to help protect the surface of teeth.
In this Cochrane systematic review, researchers looked at whether fluoride varnishes or dental sealants are more effective at helping to prevent caries. They found that the evidence was insufficient to determine whether one intervention works better than the other — however, researchers highlighted that both fluoride varnishes and dental sealants are effective at helping to prevent caries when applied to children’s back teeth.
Objectives related to this resource (5)
Kashbour W, Gupta P, Worthington HV, Boyers D. (2020). Pit and fissure sealants versus fluoride varnishes for preventing dental decay in the permanent teeth of children and adolescents. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2020, Issue 11. Art. No.: CD003067. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD003067.pub5.