Does Silver Diamine Fluoride Stop Tooth Decay in Children?

The oral health of a child is of great concern to a lot of parents. The first time you see your child dealing with a cavity can be a stressful thing, but luckily there are lots of ways to treat it swiftly and prevent any damage to the teeth.

One such solution is silver diamine fluoride, a liquid applied directly to a child’s cavity to stop the growth of bacteria and prevent further tooth decay. It’s a popular treatment, but is it the right one for your child?

If you want to learn more about this procedure, Marshfield Pediatric Dentistry has prepared a short post that will provide you with all the information you need!

How Does Silver Diamine Fluoride Work, and Is It Safe for Children?

SDF contains silver, which has antibacterial properties, and fluoride, which is known to strengthen teeth and even protect them from decay (that's why you can find it in most toothpaste). When combined, it seems these two ingredients have the ability to stop the progression of current cavities and even prevent new ones.

SDF will stop the cavity from getting worse. However, it is not a magical cure, and it’s still greatly important to have a strong oral hygiene routine and take your child to frequent dentist appointments to ensure the little one’s oral health needs are properly addressed.

Regarding its safety, the FDA has approved silver diamine fluoride in treating cavities and it is generally considered perfectly safe for children, with no major reactions recorded.

What Does the Treatment Process Look Like?

SDF is applied directly to the affected tooth. It’s a very simple and quick procedure that will not cause the child any pain or discomfort.

Essentially, the procedure will involve:

  • Covering the areas surrounding the tooth with petroleum jelly or cotton to ensure the liquid doesn’t stain the teeth or irritate the gums;
  • Drying the tooth with the cavity;
  • Applying the SDF on the decayed tooth;
  • Using compressed air to dry the solution.

And that’s it! The child’s tooth is done in just a few short moments.

Is SDF for All Types of Cavities?

Unfortunately, not all types of cavities can be treated with this simple solution. The dentist will review your child’s tooth in order to determine the best course of action. Usually, if the cavity is in its beginning stages, silver diamine fluoride can be a great way to address it. More severe cavities however will require other forms of treatment. 

If your child is dealing with a cavity, the friendly team at Marshfield Pediatric Dentistry is happy to help them and ensure all their oral health needs are well taken care of!

To get started, please book a consultation with Dr. Julie Hantson online, or call our practice directly at (781) 205-1124 to find out more about how we can help your child!

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