2421 Ford St, Golden, CO 80401

Silver Diamine Fluoride

What is silver diamine fluoride and why would a pediatric dentist recommend it?

Silver diamine fluoride is an alternative treatment that stops decay with noninvasive methods, mostly with young children that have baby teeth. Our pediatric dentists will clean and contain tooth/teeth and surrounding areas. A special brush is used to apply a clear liquid that is composed of two primary components, silver and fluoride. The silver is a anti-microbial agent that strengthens the underlying protective layer of your teeth called dentin. Fluoride is the active ingredient that puts a stop to tooth decay and helps prevent additional decay.

Silver diamine fluoride is fast, painless and easy. No drills or injections and is a non intimidating procedure. Two treatments per area are needed and we usually schedule these about a week apart. Although insurance doesn't cover this procedure, it is usually less out of pocket for parents then a restoration. This treatment will not eliminate the need for a restoration in the future to repair function, aesthetics or if more decay develops around treated area. Silver diamine fluoride will buy a young child time and when a young child gets older and more mature, a restoration can be performed. 

The down side is that decay treated areas turn black. Healthy tooth structure will not stain and stained areas can later be replaced with fillings or crowns when a child is at the point where he or she can tolerate this type of procedure. This office only applies silver diamine fluoride to baby teeth in the back of the mouth and not on front teeth. All efforts are made to ensure success of treatment but the risks are the procedure will not stop decay. If decay progresses, further silver diamine fluoride applications, dental fillings, root canal therapy or tooth extraction may be needed.


Children with a silver allergy or children with sores present in the mouth should not have this treatment. Our pediatric dentists will review all options that are best for your young child. As always, regular check ups and regular oral care at home are the best defense parents have in preventing cavities from forming in the first place. It is recommended to bring children in to see the dentist starting at one years old. Education, treatment and monitoring oral health are all keys to kiddos being free from tooth decay.


Why does a child need a space maintainer?


A child may need a space maintainer due to the early loss of a tooth or teeth. 

  • Trauma has caused the early loss of a tooth
  • Severe decay that has made the tooth nonrestorable
  • an abscess has formed and the tooth must be extracted
  • severe crowding is present and an orthodontist recommends an extraction(s)

Regardless of how a primary tooth has gone missing, it is important for the pediatric dentist or orthodontist to evaluate for a space maintainer. Teeth that are left without one will start to drift and possibly block out the permanent tooth below the gum. 


There are both removable and fixed space maintainers. Our doctors prefer the fixed ones, so that they know they are placed securely for as long as needed. The location of the missing tooth and how many teeth are missing are the deciding factor in what type of space maintainer is needed. The patient is fitted and the appliance is sent to a lab to be made  custom. 

Space maintainers are cemented into proper position and children adjust quickly within a few days. Extra oral hygiene care is needed around the bands and your dental provider will go over these instructions. Space maintainers are checked at regular 6 month dental cleanings or at regular evaluations from your orthodontist. The doctors will let you know when the proper time to remove the space maintainer will be. 

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Chewing gum and oral health

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The first commercial chewing gum was made and sold in 1848, but chewing gums have been around since ancient times. The ancient Greeks chewed a gummy substance called Mastiche derived from the resin of the "Mastic" tree and North American Indians chewed the sap from Spruce trees. Today the base for most gums are a blend of synthetic materials (elastomers, resins and waxes). 

There is good news for those of us who like to chew gum. The ADA Seal recognizes that chewing gum has scientifically demonstrated that it can help protect teeth. Clinical studies have shown that chewing gum for 20 minutes following a meal can help prevent tooth decay. This is because the act of chewing gum increases salivary flow. This increased flow of saliva helps neutralize and wash away the acids that are produced when food is broken down by bacteria in plaque on your teeth. Over time, acid can break down tooth enamel, creating conditions for decay. Increased saliva also carries with it more calcium and phosphate to help strengthen enamel.

What type of gum is best? Sugarless to start of course! Look for the ADA seal, a company earns this seal by demonstrating that its product meets the requirements for safety and efficacy for sugar free chewing gum. 

click on this link for a list of ADA approved chewing gum