Is Silver Diamine Fluoride Application Right for My Child?
Silver Diamine Fluoride application is a common tooth decay treatment and prevention option in babies, toddlers, and children. As a parent, you are likely wondering if silver diamine fluoride (SDF) application is really right for your child. At Dental School Pediatric Dentistry in Goodlettsville, TN—we’re here to help you decide what’s best for your child.
SDF is often times the ideal in the following situations:
- Babies and toddlers: This is the least invasive option to treat baby tooth decay. It can also keep teeth from decaying further. Some parents wonder if it’s necessary to treat baby tooth decay since the teeth will fall out—it is necessary. Children need strong, healthy teeth to chew their food and to speak.
- Multiple cavities: SDF application can cover up to eight teeth at once. Filling multiple cavities takes longer and is less comfortable for children, making this the preferred option for kids with multiple cavities.
- Special needs: Children of all ages with special needs may not have the ability to restrict their own movement enough to receive numbing. They also may not understand the process enough to remain calm. SDF can treat their cavities in just minutes, without causing undue distress.
- Older kids: Kids up to age 13 can deal with tooth decay in baby teeth while their permanent teeth come in. With a skilled application, SDF can keep decaying baby teeth from negatively impacting surrounding permanent teeth as they emerge and develop.
- Genetic predisposition: If you have a family history of more-easily getting cavities, SDF can lower your children’s risk of getting cavities.
SDF is not recommended if your child has: a silver allergy, significant damage to their front teeth, has been diagnosed with gingivitis or lichen planus, or if they don’t want to have stained teeth at all.
Silver diamine fluoride application is internationally-recognized for its safety and effectiveness of treating and preventing cavities. SDF is a commonly-used tooth decay treatment option in infants all the way through the loss of the last baby tooth. Additionally, it has a lower cost and requires less time at the dentist than traditional fillings. If you have any questions or would like a consultation, contact our office.
Learn More About Silver Diamine Fluoride at Dental School Pediatric Dentistry
Pediatric Dental Sealants
Pediatric dental sealants are an important preventive measure designed to give your child’s smile every possible advantage. Many dentists recommend children get sealants on their teeth as soon as their permanent molars grow in to prevent decay from the beginning. It is essential to protect your child’s oral health early on and prevent problems that may trouble them later on.
What Are Pediatric Dental Sealants?
The “grooves,” or crevices and pits along the back molars are highly susceptible to germs and bacteria that build up when food particles, such as sugar, become trapped inside them. Regular brushing goes a long way, but even the most dedicated of brushers can struggle to clean those grooves properly.
A pediatric dental sealant is a thin white or clear resin liquid applied to the surface of a child’s molars with a small brush. This thin coating placed over the biting surface of the molars protects them from decay. The protective coating reduces a child’s risk of cavities by 80% according to the American Dental Association (ADA).
Are Pediatric Dental Sealants Safe?
Dental sealants are safe and pose minimal risk to children. They are a great non-invasive way to help protect your child’s teeth from cavities. No materials go inside the tooth as fillings do. Sealants are made of a medical-grade resin. The materials are similar to the white filling material used when patients have cavities filled. The main difference is the sealant material; it’s runny in nature. Sealants are applied to teeth using a small brush to easily flow into the micro-grooves of the teeth.
This non-invasive and painless procedure is quick and completed in one visit. The procedure starts by cleaning the teeth being sealed with a polishing brush and pumice (gritty toothpaste). Once the teeth have been dried, they are isolated from any saliva from the tongue and cheeks using a small cotton roll or triangular intraoral cheek shield called a “dry angle.” Then, an etching solution is applied to the surface of the teeth to disinfect and prep the tooth for better sealant adherence. The teeth are rinsed off and dried once again. A thin bonding layer is painted on the teeth, then the sealant is applied directly onto the surface of the teeth, covering the enamel. After that is complete, the teeth are “cured” or dried using an LED blue light. This allows for faster application because it hardens and bonds the sealant to the tooth surface.
This entire process only takes about one minute for each tooth needing to be sealed. There are also no restrictions following the procedure, patients can eat and drink right away and can return to school immediately after. Dental sealants for a child are designed to protect their teeth for a minimum of 3-5 years, with a maximum of 10 years if they are well maintained. During your child’s regular dental checkups, the dentist will check the sealants to ensure they are still in place and haven’t cracked or worn away. If they do get damaged, they can be easily repaired.Learn More About Dental Sealants at Dental School Pediatric Dentistry