Fluoride varnish CEO Approval

Fluoride plays a crucial role in reducing tooth decay and can be delivered through a range of methods, predominantly fluoridated water and toothpaste. Although fluoride is safe in low concentrations, it can have adverse health effects if excessive amounts are used.

Fluoride varnish (marketed as Duraphat®) is classified as a prescription medicine, because it contains high levels of fluoride. This means fluoride varnish can only be used by a dentist or a dental professional, working under a dentist’s supervision. However, provided formal Approval is issued by the Director General of the Department of Health, fluoride varnish can be applied to children’s teeth by non-dental health professionals.

An Approval (PDF 145KB) was issued on 7 September 2017. The Approval allows registered nurses, aboriginal health practitioners and aboriginal health workers, who are employed by the Western Australian Country Health Service (WACHS) or an aboriginal health service, to apply fluoride varnish to children (aged 18 months to 5 years). Health professionals approved to use fluoride varnish must have undertaken competency-based training in oral health and use of the product. The Approval also includes specific storage and recording requirements.

This Approval supports the Fluoride Varnish Program, which operates in various rural and remote areas of Western Australia and is coordinated by WACHS with support from the Chief Dental Office.

More information

Medicines and Poisons Regulation Branch
Mailing address: PO Box 8172, Perth Business Centre, WA 6849
Phone: 9222 6812
Email: cpop@health.wa.gov.au