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.

The Approval (PDF 1.07MB) was updated on 11 February 2022 (previous version issued on 7 September 2017). The Approval allows registered nurses, aboriginal health practitioners and aboriginal health workers, who are employed by a Health Service Provider (HSP) 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 across Western Australia, with a focus on rural and remote areas, and is supported by the Chief Dental Office.

Last reviewed: 10-03-2022

More information

Medicines and Poisons Regulation Branch
Mailing address: PO Box 8172, Perth Business Centre, WA 6849
Phone: 9222 6883
Email: MPRB@health.wa.gov.au