Is Your Child At Risk Of Developing Dental Fluorosis?

Dentist Blog

Dental fluorosis is a condition that only occurs during childhood tooth formation. Children under two years of age are most at risk for developing the condition, although it can occur anytime during tooth development. Fluorosis can occur when people consume more than their recommended dose of fluorine. This is often thanks to the abundance of added fluoride in public water systems as well as toothpaste and fluoride supplements that are administered by a dentist. Additionally, fluoride is often added to baby formula.

You can help to prevent fluorosis by only using a tiny dollop of toothpaste. on your child's brush. You can also google DIY toothpaste formulas that contain little to no fluoride. Always ask the pediatric dentist if any particular formula is safe.

There are two varieties of fluorosis: skeletal and dental. The latter, mentioned above, occurs in children. Dental fluorosis is relatively harmless in most cases. However, in severe cases, your child could be at greater risk for developing cavities and tooth decay. Make it a point to consult a pediatric dentist about the condition. A general dentist may be able to provide you generalized information. Pediatric dentists know the exact point at which your child's fluoride consumption can become problematic.

Checking Their Teeth

When they're toddlers, you can look for signs of fluorosis every time you brush your child's teeth. If they're older, make an effort to periodically examine their teeth. Not only can you check if they're brushing effectively, but you should also be able to spot signs of fluorosis like:

  1. white spots that appear directly on the teeth
  2. teeth that are a brownish tint or have enamel that appears weak or soft and sometimes pitted

If you notice either condition, schedule an appointment with a pediatric dentist.

White Spots

The spots may be circular or appear as streaks on the tooth enamel. The affected area will be more opaque than regular tooth enamel. Look for the contrast by using a bright light like the ones that dentists use. A normal tooth will be semi-opaque along the edges, becoming less opaque as you move in from the edges. If there are white spots, they will appear as odd, irregular spots of opaqueness on the tooth enamel.

Tooth Enamel Weakening

In severe cases of fluorosis, the teeth may look dirty and very brown. Overall, the enamel will appear unhealthy, and you might also notice spots where the enamel is starting to pit out. Pitting of the teeth is generally only seen in the severest of cases, however.

Reach out to a children's dentist for more information. 


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Dentistry for the Whole Family

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