Valleau and VanDeven Dentistry for Children
Boy smiling in chair at pediatric dentist in Grand Rapids & Rockford, MI

What Is Silver Diamine Fluoride?

July 11, 2022
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Posted By: Valleau and VanDeven Dentistry for Children
Young child smiling in the grass at Luton Park in Rockford, MI

Cavities are preventable, but sometimes they can still develop. Fortunately, if your child has a cavity, our team can help! At Valleau and VanDeven Dentistry for Children, we offer silver diamine fluoride at our offices in Grand Rapids and Rockford, MI.

What Is Silver Diamine Fluoride?

Silver diamine fluoride (SDF) stops cavities from growing. SDF is a colorless liquid made of fluoride and silver ions that kills cavity-causing bacteria. This antimicrobial agent stops cavities in their tracks and remineralizes the tooth, meaning it makes the tooth stronger and limits bacterial growth.

What’s SDF Treatment Like?

Your child’s dentist starts by ensuring they feel comfortable and safe before treatment. We then carefully paint SDF on the cavity with a tiny brush, much like painting a piece of pottery or a canvas. Treating the cavity with SDF only takes about two minutes and is entirely painless. Best of all? There’s no numbing or drilling required! Your child may experience a temporary and mild metallic taste in the mouth.

Is SDF Safe?

According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, SDF is safe. Silver diamine fluoride has been used in Australia and China for over 10 years and in Japan for over 40 years. If your child has any of the following, you should not be treated with SDF:

  • An allergy to silver 
  • Large, nerve-exposing cavities
  • Open sores or ulcers in the mouth 

The dentist will evaluate your child’s oral health to determine if SDF suits them. 

What to Expect with SDF?

Silver diamine fluoride stains the treated cavity a dark hue, not the teeth. The color change is permanent, lasting as long as the life of the tooth. Because of this, we only use SDF on baby teeth that will eventually fall out.  

Even though a child’s primary teeth will eventually fall out to make room for adult teeth, treating children’s cavities is crucial. Untreated cavities on primary teeth can snowball and lead to pain and infection. Growing cavities can eventually affect the tooth’s nerve, and infection can spread. 

Primary teeth hold space for the proper placement of adult teeth. If a primary tooth is lost too early, it can affect the adult tooth’s emerging position and lead to space loss or eventual crowding. 

Fluoride Treatment in Grand Rapids & Rockford, MI 

Fluoride and SDF are comfortable, quick, and affordable ways to prevent decay from worsening. If your child has a cavity, don’t wait to treat it! Our dental office is here to help your child attain excellent oral health and have a healthy, problem-free smile. Please get in touch with our Michigan pediatric dental offices today to schedule your child’s dental appointment with us

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