What is fluorosis and how do I prevent it?

Posted on February 20th, 2013

Fluoride helps protect your teeth against tooth decay and gum disease. Fluoride can be good for you, but if you have too much of it at the wrong time, it can harm you and lead to dental fluorosis.

How can my child get fluorosis? 

Children who are eight-years-old and younger can develop dental fluorosis if they consume too much fluoride for a long period of time while their teeth are developing under their gums. Some common ways children can consume fluoride are: 

  • swallowing toothpaste with fluoride
  • drinking fluoridated water or fluoridated beverages
  • eating foods processed with fluoridated water

How do I know if my child has dental fluorosis?

Dental fluorosis will cause your child’s tooth enamel to change. You might notice white spots, staining or even pitting on their teeth. Usually the changes are barely noticeable, but a dentist can detect it during a dental check-up. 

How can I prevent dental fluorosis?

The best way to prevent dental fluorosis is to watch your child’s fluoride intake. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that you supervise the use of fluoride toothpaste by your children under the age of 6, and encourage them to spit out excess toothpaste. Also check to see if the water in your community is properly fluoridated. You can look at the CDC’s My Water’s Fluoride to see if yours is at the correct level: below 2mg/L. 

If you would like to get your children’s teeth checked for dental fluorosis, or need a dental check-up, contact the Lakeway Center for Cosmetic and Family Dentistrytoday and schedule your appointment.

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