Dental Fluorosis – Is Your Kid at Risk?
Dental fluorosis can cause changes to the appearance of teeth, creating white lacy flecks or in some more severe cases it may cause brown spots or even pits in tooth enamel. Most cases of dental fluorosis are very mild and the markings on teeth are tricky to see and can be unnoticeable to anyone but a dentist. It’s very rare for people to have severe dental fluorosis.
What Causes Dental Fluorosis?
This condition is caused by overexposure to fluoride which takes place when teeth are forming but before they have erupted into the mouth. Your kid could be at risk if they are exposed to too much fluoride before the age of nine and this is why your find Dr. Krepkh or any of our pediatric dentists can offer advice on the use of fluoride toothpaste and fluoride mouthwash. This is why we suggest supervising tooth brushing to ensure children do not use too much fluoride toothpaste and that they learn to spit out the excess rather than swallowing.
How Much Fluoride Should Children Have?
It’s essential that children are exposed to some fluoride as this mineral has a protective effect on their teeth, hardening tooth enamel and increasing its resistance to tooth decay. A child who consumes a healthy diet and who drinks fluoridated water and uses fluoridated dental products will typically get sufficient fluoride for healthy teeth. Fluoride is added to public water supplies but the levels are extremely carefully monitored so there is no chance that your child could ingest too much fluoride from drinking water. It’s the same story with food as it will be impossible for your child to ingest too much fluoride from eating foods containing this mineral.
How Can You Tell If Your Child Has Fluorosis?
If your kid has regular checkups at the Kids Dentistry Center, then our pediatric dentists will detect any signs of dental fluorosis. We can also talk to you about their fluoride consumption and can advise you on the use of fluoride toothpaste. We may not suggest using fluoridated toothpaste when a child is under the age of two and before they have the ability to spit out the excess.
What Are the Main Sources of Fluoride?
The main sources of fluoride include beverages such as fluoridated tap water as well as foods that have been processed using fluoridated water. Other sources include oral care products including toothpaste and topical fluoride and dietary supplements.
Protecting Your Child’s Teeth Against Fluorosis
There are a few easy things you can do to make sure your child’s teeth don’t develop fluorosis. Generally, children under the age of six should avoid the use of fluoridated mouthwash. Children below the age of three should only use a tiny smear of toothpaste containing fluoride while children aged between three and six can use a slightly larger amount of fluoride toothpaste. Whenever your child brushes their teeth, make sure you supervise them. Encourage them to spit out excess toothpaste but don’t get them to rinse with water as they could swallow the water. If you have fluoridated products such as mouthwash in your bathroom, make sure they are kept out of reach.
Kids Best Dentist Brooklyn NYC
Dr. Marina Krepkh
7708 4th Avenue 1st floor
Brooklyn, NY 11209 (Bay Ridge)