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Dental Fluorosis

Child with toothbrushFluoride is a very important mineral for the health of your children’s teeth. Fluoride is able to protect the tooth enamel and can help prevent dental cavities and even reverse the early stages of tooth decay. However, overexposing our children to fluoride can cause a condition known as dental fluorosis.

Symptoms of Dental Fluorosis

Fluorosis can have a negative effect on the appearance of your child’s teeth. In the mild stages, fluorosis will cause white flecks or streaks on the teeth. This stage will be hard to diagnose with the untrained eye. Moderate fluorosis is similar to mild, but the white streaks and spots will cover more of the surface of your child’s teeth. Lastly, rare cases of fluorosis are classified as severe. Once your child reaches this stage, almost the entire surface of the tooth is covered in white and brown spots, and the teeth may appear to be corroded or mottled.

Causes of Dental Fluorosis

Fluorosis is caused by exposure to too much fluoride, usually in the first 8 years of life. Sources of fluoride can include fluoride toothpaste, tap water, some bottled water brands, fluoride supplements, or from some medications.

Preventing Fluorosis

Below are some ways to make sure your child doesn’t suffer from fluorosis in childhood:

  • Make sure your child is using the proper amount of fluoride toothpaste (pea-sized for children over 3, and grain-of-rice-sized for kids under 3)
  • Help your child learn to spit out excess toothpaste instead of swallowing it
  • Know the side effects of any medication your child is taking
  • Lastly, make sure your child is visiting his or her dentist every six months for a dental cleaning and exam

We are dental professionals first. If you have any questions about any dental topic, our experts are happy to provide answers. For information about root canal therapy or if you’d like to make an appointment at our office, please contact Endodontic Specialists of Colorado. We have offices in both Colorado Springs North and Pueblo.

Posted on Dec 15, 2017
Image Credit: © Dreamstime.com

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