Fluorosis is an extremely common occurrence that is created by the over intake of fluoride while the teeth are forming. While fluoride intake is important for healthy teeth, in large amounts it can actually be aesthetically harmful. To help our patients better understand fluorosis and how they can avoid it, we’ve laid out a few tips below, as well as the many sources you can find fluoride without the risk of overdoing it. Take a look with Dr. Toni Hamilton.
Fluorosis, in minor cases, is the white lacy markings on the enamel surface that are difficult to see. These are just cosmetic occurrences that do not have much more than a slight white residue that highlights patches of the teeth. This is typically due to excessive fluoride intake while the teeth are in a developmental phase.
In more serious and rare cases, the effects will appear as dark brown spots that may have some pitting. Keep in mind, dental fluorosis can only affect teeth before they erupt through the gums. In other words, kids are really the only ones at risk for the discoloration, so it’s crucial parents ensure their children receive only the adequate amount of fluoride as teeth develop.
Seeing as how children are the ones at risk for fluorosis, it’s important that you as a parent ensure they see Dr. Hamilton (or their dentist) from an early age. Of course, there’s a plenty of other ways you can ensure your child is safe from fluorosis at home.
Tips for Preventing Fluorosis
There are many ways to prevent Fluorosis so teeth maintain a natural look. Some recommendations are to make sure that your child does not swallow toothpaste. It is not too detrimental to occasionally swallow a bit, but make sure it’s not a regular occurrence. To prevent your child from indulging, keep oral care products out of their reach. Another tip is to purchase children’s toothpaste that contains a lower amount of fluoride so if they do swallow it, it will not be as harmful. The most important thing to do is to supervise and teach them how to take care of their teeth while they brush and floss.
Sources of Fluoride
Sources of fluoride include tap water, foods with fluorinated water, supplements, and toothpaste. While it is not necessary to monitor water or food consumption since these sources have a relatively low level of fluoride, it is recommended to distinguish where the most fluoride comes from and also to limit your child from swallowing too much fluoride. For children under 3, it is best to smear a bit of toothpaste onto the brush instead of the regular pea-sized amount. This method ensures a low amount of toothpaste consumption.
If you are interested in learning more about dental health or would like to schedule an appointment, give us a call at 817-274-2290. We look forward to making you smile.