Purpose: To evaluate the caries relapse rate for a cohort of 2- to 4-year-old children at high risk of early childhood caries when treated with an intensive fluoride varnish (FV) regimen. Methods: Eighty paediatric patients were recruited. Forty of these patients were high risk and received the FV treatment (three applications within 2 weeks and additional applications at 1 and 3 months) during 2009–2010. Mutans streptococci (MS) levels in the saliva were evaluated during the treatment period. A comparative group of 40 children, selected from an electronic record search at the New York University College of Dentistry to be of similar age, gender, and ethnicity, but not at elevated risk for ECC, received the standard of care (semi-annual FV treatment). Detailed caries examination and treatment records were obtained for all patients from 2009 to 2014. Results: A significant reduction (P < 0.001) in MS levels was observed in the intensive FV treatment group at the 3-month visit compared with baseline. There was no effect of the intensive FV treatment on caries outcome in the anterior teeth, and the overall caries scores were significantly increased on the posterior teeth. Conclusion: The intensive FV regimen appears insufficient to prevent caries relapse in children at high risk for caries.
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