What is silver diamine fluoride (SDF) and is it right for my child?
If you’ve recently visited the pediatric dentist with your child for a cavity you might have heard of a treatment option called silver diamine fluoride (SDF). SDF is a liquid that can be painlessly brushed on a cavity on a child’s tooth to stop decay. You might want to consider SDF for cavities if your child is young or has special needs, as SDF can help delay more extensive procedures such as drilling to fill a cavity or sedation until a child is older. Keep in mind that SDF blackens the decayed part of the tooth, leaving it discolored, and that your pediatric dentist will need to monitor the cavity periodically to ensure it has stopped growing. If your child’s cavity is on a baby tooth that will eventually fall out, or if the tooth is in the back of the mouth that’s hard to see, SDF might be a good option.
While brushing twice a day and flossing is the best way to keep little teeth healthy, cavities do happen! Be sure to discuss with your pediatric dentist to see if SDF is right for your child.
Dr. Yasmi Crystal, D.D.S., D.M.D. Dr. Yasmi Crystal is currently founder and senior specialist at Comprehensive Pediatric Dentistry in New Jersey and New York City and Clinical Associate Professor of Pediatric Dentistry at New York University, College of Dentistry. A fellow of the AAPD, she is also a past trustee and has been active in various councils. Doctor Crystal lectures extensively to health care audiences in the US and abroad, and has published several articles in peer reviewed scientific journals. Dr. Crystal has a DDS degree from Universidad Tecnologica de Mexico (UNITEC), a DMD from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ) and got her Pediatric Dental specialty training from Eastman Dental Center, University of Rochester. She holds a Masters in Science on Clinical and Translational Research from the Center of Clinical and Translational Research, CTSI, NYU Medical School.
Click here to read the new AAPD guideline on SDF use in children and adolescents, including those with special health care needs.