By Aspen Dental
What is Fluorosis?
Fluorosis is a condition that occurs when children ingest too much fluoride. In appropriate amounts, fluoride is proven to prevent tooth decay and cavities. But under the age of 8, when adult teeth are still forming, too much fluoride can cause a child’s teeth to change in appearance. It can also affect the appearance of adult teeth while they form.
These changes look different depending on the severity. Very mild fluorosis usually can only be detected by a dental professional. The appearance can range from tiny white flecks on the tooth surface, to large spots or spots that cover the whole tooth. These markings can also turn brown and feel rough or pitted.
Fluorosis is only a cosmetic condition of the teeth. It’s not a disease, nor does it affect dental health. Nevertheless, it still doesn’t look great. To prevent your child’s teeth from forming fluorosis, regulate your child’s intake of fluoride. We ingest fluoride from more than just toothpaste; it’s in our water supply and bottled water, food, and some supplements. Your doctor or dentist can tell you the safe amount of fluoride your child should ingest based on their age. If you bring them a sample of your tap water, they can also tell you how much fluoride is in it—or you can ask your water supplier. You should make sure your child knows how to spit out their toothpaste when they brush. If they don’t, give them a fluoride-free toothpaste to use while they are learning. Children under age 2 should only use a smear of toothpaste, and a pea-sized amount for older children.
If you are concerned your child may have fluorosis, bring him or her in for a visit at Aspen Dental.