Fluorosis & What Parents Should Know

Little girl smilingDental fluorosis most commonly occurs when your child’s teeth are exposed to an excessive amount of fluoride during the ages of between 3 months and 8 years old. Fluorosis is a strictly cosmetic condition, caused when your children consume an excessive amount of fluoride either through fluoridated water, toothpaste, or food.

In proper amounts, fluoride is actually very good for your child’s teeth! Fluoride can strengthen your child’s enamel, which makes it resistant to dental cavities, and tooth decay. In excessive doses, however, fluoride can actually start to damage the enamel, causing it to become highly porous.

What Causes Fluorosis?

Fluorosis can be caused by:

  • Children who begin drinking carbonated beverages in early childhood.
  • Overexposure to fluoridated tap water, baby food, and/or bottled water.
  • Using a large amount of fluoridated toothpaste when brushing your child’s teeth. Use only a pea sized amount of fluoride toothpaste during each brushing.
  • Certain medications that can contain fluoride.

Symptoms Of Fluorosis

  • In mild cases of fluorosis, you might begin to see tiny white flecks or spots on your child’s enamel. These are usually only identifiable by a dentist.
  • In moderate cases, larger white streaks or spots on your child’s teeth can start to become visible to the naked eye.
  • Lastly, in severe cases of fluorosis, the surface enamel of your child’s teeth will develop pits and become yellow.

Luckily, fluorosis is not a dental disease, just a cosmetic problem. However, it’s still important to address this condition for the sake of your child’s confidence and self-esteem. If you believe your child has fluorosis, please make sure to visit your dentist.

To make an orthodontic appointment with Dr. Lockett, contact our Colorado Springs, CO orthodontic office today.

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