The effect of fluoride varnish and solution on initial enamel erosion was studied. Enamel specimens prepared from human third molars were treated for 24 h with Duraphat® varnish (2.26% F) or for 48 h with NaF solution (1.2% F), washed, and immersed in cola beverage (pH 2.6) for up to 15 min. The surface microhardness was measured using a Vickers diamond in a Leitz indentation apparatus at baseline, after fluoride treatment, and after 1, 5, and 15 min exposure to acidic drink. The specimens were then prepared and studied using a JEOL JSM–35 scanning electron microscope. The results showed that both fluoride treatments caused an increase in enamel hardness values and subsequent inhibition of softening which was statistically highly significant. Scanning electron micrographs revealed the difficulty of removing Duraphat varnish from the enamel surface, and remnants of varnish were seen irrespective of vigorous sonication in acetone. However, in areas devoid of varnish, erosion was observed as mainly irregular lesions similar to those seen in the NaF solution treated and control specimens. The present study showed that treatment of enamel with topical fluoride prior to acidic challenge can inhibit initial erosion.

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