Is Silver Diamine Fluoride Safe for Children?

Is Silver Diamine Fluoride Safe for Children?

Sep 01, 2020

Children have such delicate lives, and that includes the fate of their oral health. Every little thing you do impacts how your oral health turns out.

As they grow up, your dentist will begin to talk about the need for preventive dental care, including fluoride treatment. However, knowing what goes on behind the doors of a dental visit can help you determine what is safe for your child and what is not. With Diamine fluoride, asking about the safety measures is a wise decision for any parent.

What Is Diamine Fluoride?

It is a treatment, professionally known as Silver diamine fluoride (SDF), that is offered to patients in preventive dentistry. The treatment involves the topical application of the liquid treatment on teeth, usually with a small brush or special oral floss. SDF is a treatment that has existed for many decades in dentistry, proving important for the health of teeth.

How Does SDF Work?

This treatment is used to boost the strength of teeth helping them fight against infection-causing dental caries. The ability to do this comes from the two main components of SFF, that is, about 40 percent silver fluoride salt that is water-soluble with the addition of little amounts of ammonia. The antibacterial properties of SDF make the treatment useful for fighting harmful bacteria in the mouth as well as between teeth and the deep pits of back teeth.

Dental experts continue to use SDF because it has low toxicity levels. This is what makes the treatment safe for the use of humans, including children. The enamel of teeth needs to be re-mineralized by saliva to remain strong and fight against bacteria. When fluoride treatment is used, it significantly increases the rate of re-mineralization of the enamel by saliva. This further boosts the enamels’ ability to fight future degradation caused by acids. It means that your enamel has a fighting chance against enamel thinning.

What Are the Uses Of SDF?

Knowing how it works, dental experts explicitly use this treatment for the following functions:

1. The treatment of dentin sensitivity – usually prominent when the enamels of your teeth start thinning.

2. Preventing dental cavities from forming

3. Stopping the progression of dental decay – dental decay softens the teeth, making them vulnerable to damage. SDF treatment does the opposite, which is to harden the affected teeth. This allows your doctor more time to consider further treatment if necessary.

Is It A Safe Treatment for Children?

Worrying about the safety of your child is not a bad thing. When subscribing to such treatments as SDF, it matters to know more about the safety measures. Some of the factors that make SDF safe for use are:

1. Many years of use – it is not a new treatment in the market. It has been used several, with many success stories as proof of safety.

2. The concentration of the treatment is within measure so that it is safe for human usage.

3. The treatment is termed as being generally free of side effects.

Important Factors to Note:

1. Possible blackening of teeth – one of the possible outcomes of this treatment is that of blackening some of your teeth. The SDF usually leaves a black stain on a tooth with a cavity. The blackening of the cavity is usually a permanent result. This explains why some adults may refrain from SDF treatment. Luckily, the stains do not occur on healthy enamel. Besides, you can choose to cover up the blackened tooth with a dental crown.

2. Staining the gums – this one fully depends on the dentist applying the fluoride. If done correctly, you will not even notice the staining. Still, if it happens, it is temporary. The gum tissues affected will shed off after a few days or weeks, and be as good as new.


When it comes to the oral health of your child, do not hesitate to go all out. The beauty of it is that children have baby teeth that shed off after a couple of years. This way, the staining of the teeth with cavities will not be a long-term problem. Besides, if you can do it early before your child has cavities, then this problem will no longer be a possible outcome for your child’s teeth.