Data sourcesPubMed, Embase, Scopus, China National Knowledge Infrastructure (CNKI), Ichushi-web, Biblioteca Virtual en Salud Espana (BVSE) and Biblioteca Virtual em Saude (BVS) databases. There were no limits on language or publication dates.Study selectionTwo reviewers selected prospective clinical studies investigating SDF treatment for caries prevention in children.Data extraction and synthesisData was abstracted independently by two reviewers and risk of bias assessed. Meta-analysis was performed on studies in which the caries-arresting rate using 38% SDF solution on primary teeth could be obtained or calculated.ResultsNineteen studies were included; 16 were conducted in the primary dentition and three in permanent dentition. Fourteen studies used 38% SDF, three 30% SDF, and two 10% SDF. Eight studies using 38% SDF contributed to a meta-analysis and the overall proportion of arrested caries was 81% (95% CI; 68-89%). Percentage reductions were also calculated for 6,12,18,24 and >30 months. Arrested carious lesions stained black but no other adverse effects were reported.ConclusionsSDF commonly used at a high concentration (38%, 44,800ppm fluoride) is effective in arresting caries among children. There is no consensus on its number and frequency of application to arrest caries. Further studies are necessary to develop evidence-based guidelines on its use in children.