OBJECTIVE: The aim of the study was to evaluate the effect of topical fluoride gel NaF 2% application on antioxidant parameters of whole saliva from children. DESIGN: The saliva mechanically stimulated with parafilm was collected from 25 children (6-12 years) attending the Clinic of Paediatric Dentistry of Universidade Cruzeiro do Sul, São Paulo, Brazil, before (control group) and immediately after application of neutral fluoride gel NaF 2% (fluoride-gel group), according to the Standards for Research Using Human Subjects, Resolution 196/96 of the USA National Health Council of 10/10/1996. Afterwards, pre-post ferric-reducing antioxidant power (FRAP), trolox-equivalent antioxidant capacity (TEAC), uric acid, reduced/oxidised glutathione content (GSH/GSSG) and total peroxidase activity (TPO) were evaluated in whole saliva of both groups. RESULTS: All non-enzymatic antioxidant parameters were augmented by fluoride-gel NaF 2% application, whereas a notable reduction (31%) of peroxidase activity was concomitantly observed in the children’s saliva (p ? 0.05). Nevertheless, the reducing power of saliva was kept unaltered under these circumstances (p ? 0.05). CONCLUSIONS: Despite the reduced activity of peroxidase (an important antimicrobial and antioxidant enzyme), the topical fluoride gel NaF 2% favourably stimulated the release of non-enzymatic antioxidant components of saliva, sustaining the reducing power of saliva and the natural defences of the oral cavity.