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An Easy and Safe Way to Treat Cavities in Children

Ever heard of Silver Diamine Fluoride (SDF)? Well, this colourless liquid containing fluoride and silver is a great way to battle cavities in your children. The silver in SDF kills germs that may cause tooth decay, while the fluoride prevents, slows down, and can even stop the decay. SDF has been approved for this purpose by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2014, SDF is an easy, quick, and painless solution to treating cavities.

Your Ultimate Guide to Kids Dealing with Cavities

How does SDF work?

SDF can be applied onto the tooth as soon as tooth decay is detected during regular check-ups. Studies have shown that SDF works best on primary (baby) teeth, especially front teeth in children. Studies are currently being conducted at Mohammed Bin Rashid University of Medicine and Health Sciences’ (MBRU) Hamdan Bin Mohammed College of Dental Medicine, on SDF and the results are promising in terms of effectiveness and safety for use.

Why do dentists recommend SDF for children? 

Some children are fearful of needles and dental drills which sometimes prevents them from seeking immediate and regular care. SDF is a great alternative to treating tooth decay. SDF can also be used to treat children of determination as a safe alternative, in some cases, to treatment under general anesthesia.

How often does SDF need to be applied onto tooth decay?

It is recommended to apply SDF on decayed teeth once or twice a year to slow down or stop tooth decay.

Does SDF have any side effects?

SDF is a very safe product and side effects are rare. However, other than staining the cavities black permanently, it may leave a black stain wherever it touches, so tissues in the mouth may be stained during SDF use if it comes into contact with the solution. Additionally, it may cause gum irritation if it touches oral tissues. Both of these effects are temporary and can be prevented.

Written by Dr. Anas Al-Salami, Pediatric Dentistry Consultant for Dubai Dental Hospital and Assistant Professor of Pediatric Dentistry at the Hamdan Bin Mohammed College of Dental Medicine, MBRU.