Silver diamine fluoride has revolutionized the ways that dentists can treat children’s teeth. Cavities present a serious problem among children throughout the US, with over 42% of children between ages 2 to 11 getting cavities at their primary baby teeth stage. Normally, dentists would use fluoride treatments to help prevent and treat cavities. Still, with a new and improved version out in the market, many pediatric dentists have begun taking this new tool and using it as a more effective way to prevent cavities. Silver diamine fluoride has revolutionized how dentists can treat children’s teeth, and we’re here to give you the basics of this amazing tool.

What is Silver Diamine Fluoride?

Silver diamine fluoride, abbreviated as SDF, is a water-soluble solution made with silver, fluoride, and water. This varnish is simple to apply and can halt the advancement of cavities within seconds of application. SDF was approved by the FDA back in 2014, and since then, many dentists have begun slowly offering this service to their patients as an alternative way of treating and preventing cavities. Its universal availability has also made it especially useful for developing countries, and it’s all thanks to silver’s antibacterial properties.

How Does SDF Work?

Silver’s antibacterial properties have made it the perfect additive to fluoride. Silver helps to remove bacteria from the area; fluoride helps strengthen the enamel and provides the minerals teeth need to be strong and healthy. These two ingredients combined together make it a quick, painless, and highly affordable option for parents health-conscious about their child’s teeth.

An excellent notion to take in about SDF is that it poses very little risk to children. The only side effect reported is a blackening of the tooth’s surface and some irritation along the gums. If your child receives an SDF coating and notices black stains along with the tooth, that’s because the silver oxidizes as it is exposed to oxygen within the mouth. These stains for adults can sometimes be permanent, but their stains can either go away over time or remain until their teeth fall out for children growing and gaining their adult teeth. For children with sensitive gums, the SDF treatment may cause some irritation, but the irritation is mild and will go away over time.

Why Do Pediatric Dentists Recommend SDF?

Some pediatric dentists recommend the use of SDF because of the treatment’s low financial impact, ease of application, and high rate of cavity prevention in children ages 2 to 11. For parents on strict budgets, SDF can offer their children greater protection against cavities and can help children have healthier, happier teeth. Also, because of silver’s high effectiveness in treating cavities, it can save many children’s teeth.

At Kids 360 Pediatric Dentistry, Dr. Mayuri Appareddy, DMD, specializes in caring for children’s teeth and making positive changes to their oral health. For more information about our children’s dental care services, contact our office in Richmond, TX, and schedule an appointment with us today.