Fluoride is a preventive chemical that helps the development of strong enamel and prevents tooth decay. This can be very helpful at early ages and beneficial throughout people’s lives.
However, too much fluoride in early childhood can have negative effects on teeth. Dental fluorosis occurs when young children take in too much fluoride over long periods. Their teeth are just developing beneath the gums and can be affected. While almost invisible in mild cases, such as white spots, flecks, or frosty edges on the teeth, more severe forms of dental fluorosis can result in larger spots, staining, or pitting.
If you have grown up with just such imperfections on your teeth due to dental fluorosis, please contact dentist in our Cambridge dental office. She specializes in cosmetic dentistry and would be happy to help you achieve that brighter smile.
What ages are at risk of dental fluorosis?
Dental fluorosis can only occur while the teeth are growing below the gum line; so, 8-year-old children and younger are at risk as their permanent teeth develop.
What are the common causes of dental fluorosis?
In most locals across the United States, 75% of a person’s standard fluoride allotment is gained from drinking water and even in some soft drinks and juices. All other fluoride treated dental care products also contain this, including mouthwash and toothpaste. When used correctly, this should not cause dental fluorosis. However, children under the age of 6 often swallow mouthwash or toothpaste through improper use. This is the most common cause of excessive fluoride intake.
What can parents do to prevent dental fluorosis?
For children under 2 years of age, do not use fluoride toothpaste unless advised to by your doctor or pediatric dentist. Instead, clean your children’s teeth with a soft-bristled toothbrush and plain water as soon as their new teeth emerge.
The CDC recommends that parents supervise the use of fluoride toothpaste or mouthwash by children under the age of 6 to teach them the proper way to spit it out. Otherwise, they often swallow too much if used repeatedly.
For children ages 2 to 8, monitor the amount of toothpaste they use. A pea-sized dollop is all they should need during each brushing.
For further information or to schedule a consultation, stop by our Fresh Pond Dental office in Cambridge or contact any one of our certified professionals. If you have a child with severe dental fluorosis, our dentists works in cosmetic and restorative procedures to help your family.