July 31, 2019
It’s every parent’s nightmare: your kid’s dentist in Dix Hills has found a cavity that could cause your little one serious pain if left alone. Obviously, treatment is needed to protect your little one’s health – but what if they don’t give the dentist a chance to do it? Whether it’s due to fear or a short attention span, some children just can’t sit still for a lengthy, invasive cavity procedure. Luckily, there’s another answer; learn how SDF can save your child’s smile in a quick and painless way!
What is SDF and How Does It Work?
SDF stands for “silver diamine fluoride.” A solution made of silver and fluoride is topically applied to the teeth after they’ve been cleaned and dried. The silver kills the bacteria that cause tooth decay and can strengthen the tooth’s dentin (the layer beneath the enamel that protects the pulp). Fluoride, as you probably know, is a mineral that helps fight against decay.
Note that SDF is not a means of repairing a decayed tooth; instead, it’s meant to stop the progression of cavities and help prevent new ones from forming. It’s particularly useful for baby teeth.
What are the Benefits of SDF?
If your child has trouble holding still at the dentist’s office due to their age or a disability, SDF is often a good option because the procedure can be completed rather quickly. Your child won’t experience any discomfort, and there’s no drilling involved. In most cases, SDF is an effective way to halt tooth decay in its tracks. It’s best used in the earlier stages before too much structural damage is done to the tooth.
What About Dental Sealants?
Another excellent noninvasive defense against cavities is dental sealants. These are thin, plastic coats that, like SDF, are applied to the surfaces of the teeth. The plastic bonds with the surface of the enamel and effectively serves as a shield against food particles and plaque.
Dental sealants differ from SDF in terms of purpose; while SDF can be used to fight against decay that is currently happening, dental sealants are meant to stop cavities from forming in the first place. Also, sealants are usually specifically used on the molars in the back of the mouth that are more difficult to brush due to their position and the various grooves and depressions on the enamel. SDF, by comparison, is generally applied to whichever teeth need the treatment.
Whether it’s with SDF or dental sealants, the best way to save your child from painful tooth decay is to make sure they’re seeing a dentist for kids at least twice a year for checkups and cleanings. Don’t forget to ask well in advance what the practice offers in terms of preventive care; your little one’s smile only deserves the best available!
About the Author
Dr. Shubha Soni is Dix Hills Family Dentistry’s board-certified pediatric dentist. She enjoys making dental appointments fun and educational for kids and parents and loves nurturing young smiles that last a lifetime. She can use SDF for young, impatient children suffering from tooth decay. To schedule an appointment for your child, contact the practice through their website or call (631) 673-8040.
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