Publication Date


Journal or Book Title

JAMA Network Open


Fluoride varnish is effective at reducing tooth decay, which affects nearly a quarter of US children ages 2 to 5 years and more than half of children ages 6 to 8 years.1,2 To increase young children’s receipt of preventive oral health services, the US Preventive Services Task Force recommends medical providers apply fluoride varnish to young children’s teeth during well-child visits through 5 years of age.2 Offering fluoride varnish in medical settings may increase young children’s receipt of this service because 89% of children younger than 6 years of age had a preventive medical visit in 2019.3 However, fewer than 8% of young Medicaid-enrollees receive fluoride varnish in medical settings,4 and no studies have examined fluoride varnish applications during medical visits for children who are privately insured. Studying children who are privately insured is important because coverage of this service without cost-sharing has been mandated since 2015,5 and fewer than 1 in 3 children under 5 years who are privately insured have an annual dental visit.6 We used data from 4 states to examine fluoride varnish application rates during well-child medical visits and identify characteristics associated with fluoride varnish receipt.









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National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial ResearchUnited States Department of Health & Human ServicesNational Institutes of Health (NIH) - USANIH National Institute of Dental & Craniofacial Research (NIDCR) [R01 DE028530-01A1]