Fluoride Varnish:

Fluoride varnish is applied during your child’s preventive care visits.  The treatment is directly applied to the surface of each tooth following their dental cleaning.

Fluoride is a natural mineral that helps prevent tooth decay by making the tooth more resistant to acid attacks from plaque bacteria and sugars in the mouth.  In young children, fluoride becomes incorporated into the development of permanent teeth, making it more difficult for acids to demineralize or breakdown the teeth.  Scientific studies have shown that fluoride varnish gives added protection to teeth against decay when used in addition to brushing teeth regularly with fluoride toothpaste.

Silver Diamine Fluoride (SDF):

Silver diamine fluoride (SDF) is a liquid form of fluoride used to help prevent early cavities from progressing, or spreading to other teeth..  SDF is applied topically to the teeth with a small brush or a special type of floss.

Facts to consider:

  • If necessary, silver diamine fluoride may be applied every 12 months, or as determined by the dentist.
  • The area where the cavity is will stain black permanently.  This means SDF is working!  Healthy tooth structure will not stain.
  • If accidentally applied to the skin or gums, a light brown or white area may appear that causes no harm, cannot be washed off and will disappear within a few days.
  • Not every cavity can be treated with SDF.
  • Your child should not be treated with SDF if they are allergic to silver, or if there are painful sores or ulcers anywhere in the mouth on the day of treatment.