Is Silver Diamine Fluoride Safe for Children?

Young girl having a dental check upTooth decay affects around one-third of American children aged 2 to 5 years. While baby teeth will eventually fall out, it’s important to keep them healthy because they’re the foundation for your children’s permanent teeth. recommends that parents bring their kids to the dentist before they even turn a year old. Children are usually scared of dentists, though, so regular visits might be difficult. A new substance called silver diamine fluoride hopes to make dental visits for children less invasive and scary, but is it completely safe for them?

Silver Diamine Fluoride Painlessly Stops Tooth Decay

Silver diamine fluoride is a silver liquid that Japan has been using for decades but has only been used in America for around two years. While the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) cleared it for use as a tooth desensitizer for adults, more dentists are using it for other purposes. They also use it to painlessly stop tooth decay by brushing the substance on cavities.

Better, Faster, and Cheaper Solution

Dr. Richard Niederman of the New York University College of Dentistry states that silver diamine fluoride is an ideal solution to treat cavities since dentists do not have to use drills and injections any longer. You only have to brush it on the affected tooth for 30 seconds. It’s also a cheaper alternative to drilling, since the liquid “was very affordable,” according to one dentist.

Noninvasive Treatment to Lessen Trauma

Dr. Neiderman suggests that parents ask for the treatment for their kids since the noninvasive treatment lessens trauma during dental visits. It keeps a child from having to undergo sedation or having to get their tooth drilled and filled.

Not for Everyone

Silver diamine fluoride slightly discolors teeth, so this might discourage some parents from taking advantage of the procedure. Patients with mouth sores or an allergy to silver also can't use it. People with huge holes in their teeth still require fillings as well.

Silver diamine fluoride is a safe dental treatment for children, but the silver liquid still has its limitations. Parents should consult their pediatric dentists first to find the best treatment for their children.